Kansas lawmakers secure funding for flood control projects in some areas of state

Senator Roberts (R-KS) says he's glad Kansas showed enough need to be incorporated in the bill.
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Improving flood control in parts of Kansas. Lawmakers in Washington are working to secure funding for six projects in the Sunflower State.

Flooding ravaged parts of Kansas this year, particularly in the east. And Russell County Emergency Management Coordinator Keith Haberer says things could get worse.

"I don’t know if they are ready for the amount of rain that they’ve already got," said Haberer. "If you add a lot of snow on top of it and the melting snow, they might have some issues."

It’s an issue communities across the country are facing. So the Senate passed The Water and Resources Development Act, which will fund 29 flood control projects across the country, including six in Kansas.

"We in Kansas are always happy when it rains, but we’d like to call it quits after a certain time," said Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS).

Roberts played a key role in securing the funding. He says it will go towards infrastructure and emergency preparedness in the northeast part of the state, and save taxpayers $6 million over the next decade.

"With these projects that have been online for some time, we were able to fund them, and we’re very pleased about that," said Roberts.

It is unclear whether lawmakers will focus on securing funding for other parts of the state in the near future. Some think a tough winter could put the entire eastern part of the state in real trouble.

"We’re very happy that Mother Nature found us, but she really found us in a way that maybe she could let up just a bit," said Roberts.

Haberer says funding from the federal government is nice, but thinks federal money in general could be better spent.

"Wasteful spending...put that towards the (Army) Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service," said Haberer. "We can get better forecasts out there and prepare people and prepare our levies to manage flooding a little bit better."

The bill now awaits a vote in the House.

Read the original version of this article at www.graydc.com.