Governor issues disaster proclamation for recent storms

TOPEKA, Kansas – Governor Sam Brownback signed a proclamation Friday today for 44 Kansas counties due to damages to public infrastructure caused by recent storms and flooding.

The proclamation cites thunderstorms accompanied by isolated tornadoes, high winds, large hail, lightning, and torrential rains moved across the state resulting in wind damage, flooding and flash flooding to public infrastructure and critical services.

The proclamation period began May 4 and continues as long as severe thunderstorms and flooding conditions are occurring. County and state damage assessments are currently in progress and it is impossible in some areas still underwater to safely assess and determine the extent of damage.

“We are fortunate there has been no loss of life from these storms,” said Brownback. “This proclamation will begin the process of helping the counties affected by severe weather to identify damages and begin restoring vital infrastructure.”

Named in the declaration are Allen, Anderson, Barton, Butler, Chase, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Clay, Coffey, Cowley, Doniphan, Edwards, Elk, Gray, Franklin, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Jefferson, Labette, Leavenworth, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Marion, Meade, Miami, Nemaha, Osage, Rawlins, Reno, Rice, Republic, Saline, Sherman, Stafford, Seward, Stevens, Sumner, Wabaunsee and Washington counties.

Brownback also formally requested joint Preliminary Damage Assessments be conducted with the Federal Emergency Management Agency once conditions are safe to determine eligibility for the federal public assistance program. The Public Assistance Program provides grants to state, territorial, local, and federally recognized tribal governments and certain private non-profit entities to assist them with the response to and recovery from disasters. Specifically, the program provides assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure. Individuals, homeowners, renters, and business owners are not eligible applicants under the program.

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