Topeka – Kansans are beginning the clean-up and recovery work today of the destruction left by dozens of tornadoes that touched down across the state Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
"It’s been a difficult night for Kansas and the Midwest. Initial reports indicate there where many homes and businesses damaged – some completely destroyed by the severe weather but so far, thankfully no deaths," Gov. Brownback said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those impacted by the numerous storms that passed through our state – and for our neighbors in Oklahoma who lost loved ones".
Given the number of tornadoes that touched down across the state, Brownback said the state was fortunate.
"People paid attention to the advance warnings issued by the National Weather Service and our Emergency Management and took them seriously. They did everything they could to protect themselves and their families. These actions may have saved many lives," Brownback said. "These types of storm systems show the importance of heeding warnings, having an emergency plan and kit and knowing where to go in a tornado."
The Governor issued a declaration of disaster emergency early Sunday morning to activate the disaster response and recovery portions of the Kansas Response Plan, authorizing state resources to expedite emergency assistance statewide. He is working with Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, the director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and the adjutant general, and the KDEM team to organize the state’s response to significant damage. They will tour parts of tornado stricken areas in Sedgwick County this afternoon.
"The state will do what it can to help our storm ravaged communities get back on their feet. The state’s emergency management team is working with local leaders to help address immediate needs and to organize the clean-up of the storm debris," said Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, the director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and the adjutant general. "The two hardest hit areas appear to be Sedgwick and Rice Counties which have each issued a local declaration of disaster - we are prepared to support them with additional resources should their local resources become overwhelmed."
Those wanting to help with the recovery efforts should contact the United Way at 211