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More heavy rain expected

Even as Missouri cleans up after last week's flooding, more heavy rain is on its way.

BY HEATHER MOYER | FREEMAN, Missouri | May 24, 2004

Even as Missouri cleans up after last week's flooding, more heavy rain is on its way.

Residents of Cass County are anxiously watching the forecast as they clean up and look at long-term recovery needs.

Last week's floods damaged 85 homes in Lake Annette, Freeman and Pleasant Hill. Five suffered major damage, according to Cass County Emergency Management Director Stan Swaggert. "I still have to check on another ten to 13 homes as well," said Swaggert. "And we're worried because more heavy rain is expected," he said.

The American Red Cross (ARC) and The Salvation Army both are responding to needs, with the ARC already having opened 30 cases. AmeriCorps did some initial debris cleanup, according to Swaggert, but have since moved on to respond to the tornadoes in Iowa. Swaggert has also enlisted the help of the Missouri Interfaith Disaster Response Organization (MIDRO).

"Stan is trying to get the local churches and ministerial alliances together," said MIDRO Administrator Bryan Crousore. "At this point we do know MIDRO will be involved, we're just still working on what other local organizations will also help out. I'll go down there when the local churches are ready."

Cass County is in eastern Missouri, south of Kansas City. The county is very rural, though, said Crousore, and the towns affected are all very small.

He added that the Kansas City Metro Community Organizations Active in Disaster recently met to organize its response. Damage assessment is also being done by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to see about an SBA declaration to make low interest loans available.

Few residents in Cass County were insured, a fact that Crousore said will force many local organizations to step up to help.

"This is one of those disasters where there won't be a federal declaration, so it falls to the faith-based groups to help," he said.

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