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State seeks to add counties damage assessment request
new deh disaster pic
Recent storms, like the one that flooded the Great Bend Cemetery, have prompted state officials to add Kansas counties to a disaster aide request. - photo by Tribune file photo

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management has submitted a request to FEMA Region VII to request joint Preliminary Damage Assessments be conducted in five additional counties for damages to public infrastructure resulting from storms beginning May 19 and continuing. The counties are Ellis, Hamilton, Morton, Stanton and Washington.
The joint PDA teams, made up of KDEM and FEMA staff, will be looking at damage to public infrastructure, such as road, bridges and utilities, to determine if there is enough damage to qualify for federal help.
Counties named in the previous request for joint Preliminary Damage Assessments to be conducted include Barton, Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Logan, Lyon, Mitchell, Osage, Osborne, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Republic, Riley, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Saline, Shawnee, Sherman, Smith, and Stafford Counties. This request was made June 10.
“Once the storms have passed and everyone is accounted for, our top priority is helping our local governments restore damaged infrastructure that is vital to the security and economic well-being of their residents,” said Gov. Sam Brownback.
Additional counties may continue to be added as flooding continues to be a threat.
If these assessments indicate there are sufficient damages to meet federal eligibility thresholds, the counties named in the request may apply for federal Public Assistance to repair damages to roads, bridges and other public infrastructure.
“This is the first step in the process,” said Angee Morgan, deputy director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “When we have an accurate picture of the total amount of damages, and if these damages are eligible and meet the federal thresholds, the state will submit a request to the president for federal Public Assistance for reimbursements to these counties.”