NW Missouri Continues Clean Up from September Storms

(KTNC)--Northwest Missouri continues to clean up from severe storms that drenched the state in early September.

In Holt County, many gravel roads and bridges remain closed due to tornadoes and heavy rains that struck in the northern part of the county, generally in a line from Mound City to the Nodaway County line. While some of the roads have been repaired, county officials are waiting to fix others.

Why the delay? Holt County Clerk Kathy Kunkel says they're waiting for a determination whether the county will qualify for a federal disaster declaration. The state of Missouri has issued a disaster declaration, and Kunkel says state and federal emergency management agency representatives will be in the county this week to get a look at the damage.

Kunkel says the state declaration helps, but they would like to get the federal disaster declaration, as that would speed up work to repair the 200 miles of county roads, and several bridges, culverts and drainage ditches that were damaged. Kunkel says they've fixed the main roads and bus routes, but have left others until federal officials can see the condition of the roads.

With harvest in full swing, Kunkel says people want their roads bladed and repaired, but she says they've been waiting to make those repairs until FEMA officials can look at the damage first-hand. She says that gives a better indication of the damage than photographs. Federal and state emergency management officials were scheduled to be in Holt County Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Holt County Commissioners directed Road and Bridge Supervisor Daryl Biermann to extend staff work days to 10 hours, to repair the damage. The county has also asked the Norris Aggregate Quarry to extend the hours available for them to haul rock.

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