Mike Parson

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday requested FEMA declare a major disaster so the state can access federal help recovering from deadly tornadoes that hit this month.

If granted, the designation will allow seven southern Missouri counties to access federal assistance repairing damaged buildings and other infrastructure.

Parson requested the disaster declaration for Bollinger, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Pemiscot, Reynolds, and Wayne counties.

State and local officials estimated that federal assistance could be available for more than $27 million in public infrastructure repairs and emergency response expenses, according to Parson’s office.

The Dec. 10 tornado killed at least two people in Missouri. The same storm system also generated tornadoes that killed dozens of people in four other states with the worst damage in Kentucky.