President Donald J. Trump declared Thursday that a major disaster exists in the State of Kansas and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding, landslides, and mudslides beginning on April 28, 2019, and continuing.
This includes storms that led to flooding in Butler County in the month of may. Those rain events, and the flood waters that came after them, caused millions in damages for Butler County.
“Things like roads, culverts, bridges, parks and public buildings — anything that is government owned, just looking at that … were sitting at about $2 million (in damages),” said
Keri Korthals, director of Butler County Emergency Managment.
Korthals said that figure looked mostly at the flooding from May 7 and 8 — and much of what was damaged was flooded again later that month.
The county threshold to be included in disaster declarations is about $249,000.
“We easily met our threshold,” Korthals said.
According to the National Weather Service, southwest Butler County — along with portions of Sedgwick, Cowley and Sumner counties — received the most rainfall in the state during the rain event. More than 30 inches of rain fell on that area during the month of May.
June 10 Governor Laura Kelly sent a request to Trump asking for a major presidential declaration for public assistance program for 63 counties in Kansas as a result of widespread, record rainfall and severe weather causing flooding, flash flooding and tornadoes beginning April 28.
“I am pleased the President swiftly approved this disaster declaration that will assist counties and local governments in their efforts to rebuild and recover from persistent severe weather that has hurt many Kansans, especially our farmers and ranchers,” said Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan). “I’ll continue to work with local, state and federal officials to make certain Kansans have the resources necessary to recover from this widespread damage.”
Federal funding is now available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding, landslides, and mudslides in the counties of Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Cowley, Doniphan, Elk, Ellsworth, Franklin, Geary, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Jefferson, Kingman, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Rush, Russell, Saline, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson and Woodson.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.