The crippling winter ice storm left many Missourians without power and caused significant damage to trees and power lines.

To help families and businesses recover from the disaster, President Bush ordered a major disaster declaration, which covers damage to private and public property from the recent severe winter ice storm.

As part of the declaration, federal disaster funds were made available to Missouri on Feb. 6 to supplement state and local response efforts

Following the President's action, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Joe M. Allbaugh also designated 33 counties eligible for aid to stricken residents and business owners. The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.