In the aftermath of the massive storm system that plowed across Kansas April 14 and 15, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management will be contacting affected counties to gather information on the amount of damages sustained.
Once the extent of total damages is determined, the decision will be made whether to request joint preliminary damage assessments teams to assess the state’s eligibility for federal disaster assistance.
"We’ll be working closely with the county emergency managers to make sure all damages are collected," said Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, the director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and the adjutant general. "Once we have those numbers, we’ll assess whether they meet FEMA’s requirements for federal assistance."
Gov. Sam Brownback signed a declaration of a State of Disaster Emergency for 39 counties affected by the storms, which generated an estimated 97 tornadoes in addition to heavy rain, lightning, high winds and large hail. Named in the declaration are Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Clay, Comanche, Dickinson, Edwards, Ellsworth, Geary, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Jewell, Kingman, Kiowa, Lincoln, Lyon, Marion, McPherson, Marshall, Mitchell, Morris, Osborne, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Riley, Rush, Russell, Saline, Sedgwick, Stafford, Sumner, Smith and Wabaunsee Counties.
The declaration activates the disaster response and recovery portions of the Kansas Response Plan to expedite state assistance to counties based on the amount of damages sustained and the counties’ ability to respond with the resources they have available.