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Hartzler checks in on Rocheport flood fighters

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, was in Rocheport to talk with flood fighters Thursday.

Hartzler who stopped in at Rocheport City Hall Depot on First Street, also spoke about the disaster relief bill Congress approved this week.

Local leaders joined her to discuss how they will move forward after the flood.

Hartzler said cCongress passed a $19 billion relief bill, which President Donald Trump signed Thursday.

“I’m going to be advocating that as much as that as possible to come here (for flood recovery),” Hartzler said.

She said the bill will provide money for community development grants, the Corps of Engineers and assistance to farmers.

“Part of that will give farmers money to be able to rehabilitate their land from the sand and get it off the dirt so that they can actually plant their crops again,” Hartzler said.

Gov. Mike Parson has requested that several Missouri counties be designated as diaster areas. Hartzler said Cooper, Howard and Boone counties are not included on that request, but that they can be added to the request.

“The reason they are not included in that request at this time is because the property is still underwater, so they can’t do that financial determination economic determination yet of the true extent of the damages,” Hartzler said.

After Hartzler’s appearance, Parson’s office said in a news release that the governor had requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency participate in damage assessments in 56 counties because of storms, flooding and tornadoes that have hit the state since March.

Mid-Missouri counties in that assessment request include Chariton, Cole, Saline and Camden.

She toured the area to see the work being done to keep Missouri River floodwaters at bay in the Boone County town that sits along the Katy Trail. The Missouri River was holding steady Thursday at levels well above flood stage throughout mid-Missouri.

Volunteers were out continuing to sandbag the areas near the Katy Trail.

Rocheport Mayor John Zondca said people from across the country have come out to pitch in.

“We’ve had people from Kansas City, Oak Grove, we’ve even had people from as far away as Sacramento, California and Wisconsin that just happened to be passing through that stopped to chip in,” Zondca said.

Water from the river and its tributaries has overtopped or breached levees around the area, leading to evacuations in some places and inundating farmland.

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