President signs disaster declaration for 11 Kansas counties

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Sam Brownback has been given the nod from the president to receive federal assistance for damages from the severe storms and flooding in September.

“That assistance is available for state and local government for certain non-profit, private, non-profit organizations,” said FEMA External Sturner Specialist Barb Sturner.” So basically, we are helping to defray the cost of repairing or replacing things like roads, bridges, removing debris, and damaged parks.”

Assistance will only be provided for damages that happened between September 2nd-12th. Not including people’s homes or property.

It will cover 11 different counties.

Taking a look back at some of the hardest hit areas, in Sedgwick County, there were times where rainfall was between 6 and nearly 14 inches.

So, what’s next?

Officials from the Kansas Department of Emergency Management say by the week of October 31st they’ll expect to be meeting with emergency management officials from each county to go over the damages.

Following that FEMA will go to the damaged area’s and do an in person evaluation of the sites.

“What we do there is we look at the size and the scope of the disaster and determine what damage has occurred,” said Sturner.

The quick response has Sedgwick County commissioner optimistic about repairs.

“My recent history with tracking this type of stuff, this is unprecedented for me to see this type of attention and assistance come to our local community from the Federal government. It really is extraordinary and it’s very good news,” said Jim Howell, Sedgwick County Commissioner.

FEMA officials say once the damage is fully assessed they will be able to tell each county how much money they will be giving to help.