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Hannibal officials working through paperwork for FEMA flood assistance

It’s probably the last thing on your mind now, flood water, levees and sandbagging, but for officials in Hannibal, they’re still working through how they’ll pay for the work that kept the city safe.

Marion County Emergency Management Director John Hark said he and other officials from Hannibal and Marion County met with FEMA representatives earlier this month to go over how to apply for public assistance.

“This is public assistance, which covers roads, bridges, storm sewers, and overtime labor, equipment, sandbags,” said Hark.

He said the paperwork they’re working on will cover the work he mentioned and damages like the storm sewer, but isn’t designed to help individuals and businesses impacted.

“Business owners, or those type folks who have anything, if they’re looking for a low-interest loan, they contact the Small Business Administration now and work out their own details,” said Hark, adding that now with the flood gates removed and the response complete, what’s left is for the city to figure out how much was spent responding to the flood

“There is still clean up going on,” said Andy Dorian, director of central services, talking about how they’re still finding small things to add to the list of damages.

City officials say because of that, even now they’re working with FEMA to figure out what will and won’t be covered while they compile the list of expenses.

“It’s just, a lot going on and in the meantime we’ve still got to maintain the entire parks system, so we can’t just throw out all our resources at flood clean up because we have to do everything else, that’s why it’s been a gradual process,” said Dorian.

Hark said now that they’re in line, they’ll have to wait, as they aren’t the only ones facing difficulties this year.

“When you’re talking about the federal people, they have a lot of states to cover, it didn’t just happen here in Hannibal Missouri,” said Hark.

One business that was impacted was the Mark Twain Brewery. Management at the brewery said insurance won’t cover the damage, and have yet to see any other kind of assistance. Hark said according to guidelines the city didn’t qualify for individual assistance.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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