President Trump Declares Major Disaster in Missouri

Governor urges residents, local governments and nonprofit agencies impacted by historic flooding to register for federal assistance

President Donald Trump today approved Gov. Eric Greitens’ request for a major disaster declaration for a total of 48 Missouri counties. The declaration is in response to historic flooding that began April 28 and led to the destruction or major damage of more than 1,200 homes and at least $58 million in damage to roads, bridges, other public infrastructure and emergency response costs. The Governor’s May 24th disaster request estimated total losses and expenses of over $86 million.

The President’s declaration currently makes the Individual Assistance program available to eligible businesses and residents in 27 Missouri counties who can now seek federal assistance. They can apply for help with temporary housing, housing repairs, and the replacement of household items. The declaration also makes the Public Assistance program available to local governments and nonprofit agencies in 46 counties for the repair of damaged roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure, along with emergency response costs.  Even those with river cabins where it is not a primary residence are encouraged to register their loss.

The East Central regional Missouri counties eligible under the Individual Assistance program are Franklin, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps and Pulaski.

Individuals and families who sustained damage or losses due to the flooding and severe storms from April 28 to May 11, 2017 in one of the Missouri counties included in the Individual Assistance disaster declaration can register for disaster assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, or by going online to The quicker Missourians register with FEMA, the quicker they may be able to receive assistance.

The deadline for most individual assistance programs is 60 days after the President’s major disaster declaration. Disaster aid to eligible individuals generally falls into the following categories:

  • Housing Assistance may be available for up to 18 months for displaced homeowners or renters whose primary residences received major damage or were destroyed. Funding also can be provided for housing repairs and replacement of damaged items to make homes habitable.
  • Other Needs Assistance may be available for other disaster-related expenses, including essential household items, moving and storage, vehicles, medical and dental, child care, funeral and burial, and some clean-up items not covered by insurance and other assistance programs.
  • Low-Interest Disaster Loans are available after a disaster for homeowners and renters from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover uninsured property losses. Loans may be available for repair or replacement of homes, automobiles, clothing or other damaged personal property. Loans are also available to businesses for property loss and economic injury.
  • Other Disaster Assistance Programs include crisis counseling, disaster-related unemployment assistance, disaster case management, legal advice and assistance, including with income tax, housing issues, consumer protection, Social Security and veterans’ benefits.

Those affected by the flooding are encouraged to continue to document losses, including photographing damage and retaining receipts. The State Emergency Management Agency is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to identify locations in which FEMA will operate Disaster Recovery Centers to assist flooding survivors with answers to their questions and help with registering for assistance. However, there is no need to wait to register and flood survivors are encouraged to register online or by calling FEMA.

The East Central Regional counties eligible under the Public Assistance Program to assist local governments and certain nonprofits are Cole, Crawford, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Maries, Miller, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington Counties.

For more information about Missouri’s response to the flooding and recovery resources, please visit  University of Missouri Extension flood resources are available at

Upcoming Events:

Phelps County Quarterly Calendar of Events (PDF)

Keep Your Keys?

The effects of driving as we age. FREE course on driving safety in St. James on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. This course will educate drivers 55+ on how to stay medically and physically fit to drive, as well as provide resources to help you plan for driving retirement. Flyer (PDF)

Business 101 Lunch & Learn Series

Business owners can learn about business plans, marketing plans, business accounting and what business resources are available during a summer series of classes offered by the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The Business 101 Lunch & Learn series will be held from noon to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays during August. Registration for each session is required. Classes are free and include lunch. You can attend one, some or all. For more information call 573-341-7584 or email Flyer (PDF)

Master Gardener and Master Naturalist Class Schedule at the Rolla Farmers' Markets

Come out the the Rolla Farmers' Market this summer to receive free information on various topics ranging from  from the Phelps County Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. Flyer (PDF)

Leadership Phelps County

Leadership Phelps County is currently taking applications for its 13th class.This program is intended to help new and existing community leaders build skills while learning more about issues facing Phelps County.

LPC is a series of ten classes beginning with a mandatory overnight retreat in September and concluding with an evening graduation ceremony in June. Topics will include Foundations of Phelps County, Local Government, Community Service, Economic Development, Education, Healthy Communities and a trip to Jefferson City for State Government.

Employees and employers alike should take a look at the program. Businesses with new employees might want to send them to broaden their knowledge of things going on in Phelps County.

Time to get the pressure gauge on your canner checked

When you plant your garden, it’s so easy to imagine all of the great-tasting, healthy food that will come from those tiny seeds and plants. You may be one of the people that grow not only enough to eat during the summer but extra so it can be preserved for cold winter nights. Now is a great time to make sure your canning gear is ready for production when your garden starts producing more than you can eat.

The dial gauge on your canner should be tested every year to assure it is processing foods at the correct temperature. The dial gauge registers the pressure in the canner. The pressure is an indicator of the temperature of the inside of the canner. It is important for low acid foods to be processed at 240 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy the spores of Clostridium Botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism.

Phelps County University of Missouri Extension can check your pressure gauge in just a few minutes. This service is provided for a fee of $1.

If you are looking for information on how to preserve your fresh vegetables, University of Missouri Extension has up to date information on how to safely can foods. You can download them at The Quality for Keeps series is all about home food preservation.  

Soil Testing

Don’t guess. Soil tests save time and money.

Soil testing is the best guide to the wise and efficient use of fertilizer and soil amendments, said Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services.

Whether you grow acres of row crops or have a vegetable patch in the backyard, a soil test will provide you with an analysis of nutrients and a set of recommendations for any improvements.

“We frequently get questions from customers like, ‘I apply fertilizer every year. How come my plants are not doing well?’” Nathan said.

“Most of the time the problem is they never have done a soil test, but have been guessing on fertilizer requirements,” she said. “They do not realize that by guessing they are wasting money by over- or under application, and the excess fertilizer can end up in streams, ponds and underground water, polluting the environment.” 

Soil testing can be done through the extension office. The cost is $15 per sample and mailed to the lab every Friday with a turn around time of about two weeks. Soil testing publications

Soil Sampling Questions and Answers (PDF)

Resources for Your Flooded Home

Cleaning up after a flood takes special care. To help with your flood response and recovery, download MU Extension Publication MP904,  Resources for Your Flooded Home (PDF). This guide covers a variety of flood cleanup topics. Other flood related resources can be found here.

What is an Extension Center? Brochure (PDF)

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