Governor Requests Federal Assistance for September Storm Damage

Teams of state and FEMA personnel have completed Preliminary Damage Assessments in 11 Kansas counties to determine the extent of damage to public infrastructure resulting from severe storms and flooding that hit the state Sept. 11 through Sept. 17.

Based on their findings, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has sent a letter to President George W. Bush requesting federal Public Assistance to help restore infrastructure that was damaged or destroyed.

“The financial loss from floods and storms can add up quickly and the impact is often too substantial for counties to handle on their own,” said Sebelius. “This assistance will help get our public infrastructure restored.”

Damage estimates from all counties surveyed total in excess of $3.7 million. The statewide threshold to qualify for federal assistance is approximately $3.6 million.

Four state teams comprised of 13 people partnered with an equal number of personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct damage surveys in Anderson, Butler, Chase, Cowley, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Lyon, Russell, Sedgwick and Sumner Counties. All counties surveyed had sufficient damages to meet qualification requirements, except for Lyon County.

Under the Public Assistance Program, which is authorized by the Stafford Act, FEMA awards grants to assist state and local governments and certain Private Nonprofit (PNP) entities with the response to and recovery from disasters. Specifically, the program provides assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure.

The federal share of these expenses typically cannot be less than 75 percent of eligible costs. The program also encourages protection from future damage by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process.

The PA Program encourages planning for disaster recovery, but PA Program funds may not be used for the costs of planning. The costs incurred implementing the plans are eligible for reimbursement only if they meet PA Program eligibility criteria.