Franklin County flood victims didn’t have to wait long for disaster assessment teams to arrive as part of the recovery process.
On Monday, Gov. Eric Greitens announced preliminary damage assessments will be conducted for individual assistance in Franklin, Iron, Laclede, St. Louis and Wayne counties.
Teams made up of representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) were on the ground in Franklin County Tuesday performing assessments of primary structures as the first of a two-part survey.
On the Ground
Individual Assistance (IA) teams assessed damage to homes and personal property during their one-day visit.
Franklin County Emergency Management Director Abe Cook explained assessment teams are comprised of a minimum of four people, including a local representative of the affected municipality or unincorporated area.
The tour of flood-affected areas in Franklin County was expected to last only one day due to some scheduling conflicts.
In all, about one-third of the 941 total structures in the unincorporated county flood plains were damaged, including 280 non-primary structures.
An additional 51 primary structures were also affected and those totals could change upon further assessment in coming weeks.
In this case, a non-primary structure can be anything from a chicken coop to a river cabin or clubhouse. A primary structure is classified as a residence.
Teams did not visit every house and assessments are meant to get a broad overview of damage to homes and public infrastructure.
In conjunction with the assessments, the Missouri Department of Public Safety urges those affected by the flooding and severe storms to report damage to their local emergency management officials and to document losses, including photographing damage and retaining receipts.
Individuals and business owners should notify their insurance companies of damage and not wait for damage assessments.
The announcement from Greitens came just five days after 10 teams were deployed to assess flood damage in 30 counties in the southwestern part of the state, which were hit by the flooding first.
Preliminary damage assessments also will be conducted for public assistance in Franklin, Perry and St. Louis counties at a later date.
Barry County, which had originally requested assessments for individual assistance, has withdrawn that request.
Public assistance teams will visit later to assess disaster damage to public infrastructures like roads, bridges and schools, as well as to certain nonprofit entities.
These assessments will be directly linked to a Multi-Agency Resource Center checklist filled out by victims in Pacific Monday.
Five of the agencies present Monday require the assessments for disaster relief.
Cook said the county has to spend $366,386 in order to receive federal financial assistance for flood response.
That amount is strictly for money spent on flooding in unincorporated parts of the county and includes infrastructure and employee overtime.
Individual municipalities will have a different set of criteria to meet for state and federal assistance.
Statewide, that number rises to $820,482,999, to be eligible for federal assistance.