FEMA denies assistance to St. Louis storm victims

Thursday, January 27, 2011 | 5:38 p.m. CST

ST. LOUIS — The Federal Emergency Management Agency says damage from severe storms that hit eastern Missouri on New Year's Eve doesn't merit federal disaster assistance.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports FEMA spokesman Josh deBerge said most of the buildings damaged in the storms were already covered by insurance. Federal disaster aid can't duplicate insurance coverage.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said he's disappointed in the decision because many of the homes damaged in his city weren't covered by insurance. He said denying assistance will just put homeowners deeper in debt.

Teams of disaster officials surveyed eight Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis on Jan. 4. Gov. Jay Nixon was told about the decision Wednesday.

Nixon said he is asking the U.S. Small Business Association to make low-interest loans available.

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