KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that Leavenworth County would receive more than $300,000 in federal funds for a project that will reduce the risks of future flood losses.
Beth Freeman, director of FEMA's regional office in Kansas City, Mo., said that the funds would be provided through FEMA's Unmet Needs Program to purchase and demolish seven residential structures that have had repetitive flood damage.
"We are pleased that Leavenworth County has taken a proactive stance with regards to its threat from floods," Freeman said. "Their program is just one way that communities can reduce the effects of natural disasters on themselves."
The $305,935 grant represents FEMA's contribution to the project. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $359,924.
The state of Kansas, through the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, and the local community will administer and disperse the federal funds. The state determines which projects are submitted to FEMA for funding. Local units of government submit the projects to the state and determine the order in which the individual structures are purchased.
The county's goals for this voluntary acquisition project include public safety and floodplain management. This project will remove families out of harms way, reduce the risks to emergency workers, and help the community meet their responsibilities for floodplain management and stay in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program. Once completed with the acquisition project, the county plans to convert the land back to open space.
The Unmet Needs Program provides 75% of the funds for approved projects that lessen or eliminate the loss of lives and property in future disasters. The remaining 25% must come from non-federal sources.
These federal funds came from a special appropriation from Congress for unmet needs that were a direct result from the severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes that resulted in a Presidential disaster declaration for the state of Kansas in 1998.