FEMA tours parts of Clay County to evaluate flood damage

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MOSBY, Mo. -- Government officials spent Tuesday morning touring destruction in Clay County that resulted after the month of June delivered more flood damage than they've seen in over a decade.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's emergency manager for the Clay County region led the tour, which took a group of state and county officials from Mosby to Excelsior Springs to Smithville. During the tour, they addressed the very basics such as restoration of public roads and bridges.

It seems like a broken city for people living in the small city of Mosby, which is home to around 200 people, many of whom have seen their homes waterlogged by flooding this month.

Sites of ruin greeted agents from FEMA, including the city's police station, and a number of essential roads and bridges, which are losing their respective grips on concrete, asphalt and rebar structures. It all comes after a month of June that's seen the Fishing River rise into the streets on three occasions.

FEMA Spokesperson Meredith Parrish says the agency asked to see the region's worst flood-affected areas, and Mosby ranks at the top.

“For every local jurisdiction, that is their worst,” Parrish said. “It's an interruption to their normal operating budgets, manpower and what they've got going on.”

For people living here, the challenges have been many. Susan Kennedy has lived in the Mosby area, and attended services at Mosby Baptist Church for half a decade.

“As you can see, the road's gone,” Kennedy explained while gesturing toward a disintegrating chunk of Second Avenue. “The bridge, you can see through it. You can see down into the water. You can see the rebar.”

Mosby's acting police chief, Jason Leininger, says his office tracks damage to public buildings, many of which are still in use after being declared unfit by county officials. He says even the city’s police station is ruined, due to unfit health conditions brought on by flood waters and the mold that’s left behind.

“Everything they've fixed and put effort into, they've had to fix multiple times. Every little bit of help, they'll appreciate, even if it's the smallest amount,” Chief Leininger said.

Parrish said once her agency has gathered its data, it will deliver those numbers to Missouri's governor, Jay Nixon, who in turn, will ask the federal government for help, provided the state can't afford it on its own.

Clay County is one of 25 areas in Missouri that FEMA is assessing which, according to Parrish, shows the flood damage was significant.

Parrish says FEMA's report should be delivered to Missouri officials within the next month. At that point the state can apply for federal money if it's needed.

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