Neosho Fire Chief Mike Eads provided an updated report to members of the Neosho City Council during the regular meeting on Tuesday.

Neosho Fire Chief Mike Eads provided an updated report to members of the Neosho City Council during the regular meeting on Tuesday.  
The major item was the recent flooding event in the community. Although a command center was set up at Fire Station No. 1 during the weekend flooding, Eads was out of town at his daughter's wedding.  Deputy Fire Chief Jim Ledford was in charge.
"My deputy fire chief handled the situation very well," Eads told council members. "I've had compliments on his actions from several (city) departments."
Eads reported that his department made 120 rescues and evacuations during the flooding.  Some residents sheltered in place and others evacuated on their own before the water became too high.
"Everything went smoothly," Eads said.
Mayor Ben Baker also commented, "I was there all day at the Command Center. It went smoothly.  Everyone went above and beyond. We were able to respond rapidly and efficiently. Over 200 calls came into the command center over a 10 and a half hour period. I am amazed how well efforts were orchestrated.  Thank you for the hard work and dedication."
No federal disaster declaration has been made at this time.
"It could be a week before one may be made, due to flooding still ongoing in other parts of the state," Eads said.
"Part of it is patience, " Baker commented. "The way Gov. Greitens explained the process to me during his visit to Neosho on Monday.  He helped me to understand the process.  There are three steps, rescue and ensuring public safety, assessment of damage, and recovery.  Many areas are still in the first steps.  The governor is very confident that the federal disaster declaration will be made.  It's just a matter of time and patience.  In the meantime, we are here to help."

In a press release issued on Wednesday by Paul Richardson, City of Neosho Public Relations Director, on behalf of the city stated, "We are anticipating support from state and local sources such as SEMA and FEMA but this will only occur as the process unfolds."

While critically affected, Southwest Missouri is not the only area where need exists.  All of the state areas affected by flooding must be past the initial stage of the event.  To begin the process for funding, inventories and damage assessments must be made, not only from Neosho but statewide.

"Many daily aspects of life were impacted by the extreme weather events of last weekend," Richardson said. "But, we are on the road to recovery."

A website has been set up as a community coalition working on recovery from the April-May flood event at  The Neosho Flood Recovery site offers continually updated information for residents affected by the flooding, links to where they can find help from everything from clothing to laundry services.  Prospective volunteers can also gain information about where to go to join organized efforts.  A link to State Representative Bill Reiboldt's website is available with information about the Heart to Heart International group currently assisting.  Heart to Heart plans to work this weekend from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  All ages and abilities are welcome to join the work teams.  Information about how to sign up can be found on Reiboldt's site.  Minors are welcome but must have a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian.