Victims from a flash flood near Orrick two weeks ago are now seeking assistance from the federal government because of lack of help from the state.
Victims met with an official from the Missouri Department of Transportation last Friday but left the meeting frustrated by a lack of answers.
Rep. Bob Nance, R-Excelsior Springs, was at last week’s meeting and has arranged a second meeting for tomorrow, with officials from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Conservation. MoDOT officials from Kansas City may also attend the meeting but Nance said he does not expect much help from MoDOT. Nance said at last week’s meeting he didn’t get the impression that MoDOT was willing to do anything as far as changing the size of the tube for Keeney Creek where it runs under Highway 210.
“We kind of feel like the highway department will pass the buck as much as they can,” Nance said.
Furthermore, one of the hardest hit residents, Linda Lauck, said MoDOT officials told her after looking over the area last week that not much needed to be done.
Nance said the USDA might have a program that could work in the area near Orrick. He said they have a plan for watershed improvements that picks up 75 percent of the cost. The county or local area would have to come up with a 25 percent match, however, the match can come in the form of labor. Lauck said she and neighbors have already committed to working. Nance said having experts come out to the field would help them gauge the problem before any cost figures are determined.
“They may have a different idea of where a watershed should be,” he said.
Susie Stonner, spokeswoman for the State Emergency Management Agency, said on Wednesday that Ray County officials recently took a SEMA team on a tour of Ray County to access damages. Stonner said Ray County, along with 49 other counties, is seeking assistance. She said SEMA is still collecting information and will forward their findings on to Gov. Jay Nixon. She said Nixon could ask for a Presidential declaration. If that happens, Stonner said there could be funding made available for debris cleanup, however, that would require a 25 percent match as well. Stonner said it is hard to say at this time whether or not the county will receive help.
“Not every disaster that we ask for is approved,” she said. “There are always different variables.”
The meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at Crossroads in Orrick.