Kansas City, MO -- Where were you January 29 and 30, 2002? Over the course of those two days, a dangerous winter storm blasted across Oklahoma, Kansas and western Missouri, coating a wide path with freezing rain, sleet, snow and, worst of all, ice. Thick, heavy coats of ice that dragged down power lines, splintered trees, and made roads undriveable. Traffic was snarled. Homes went dark and cold without power.
"The storm that hit Kansas and Missouri last year played havoc with many public facilities and services, as well as the lives of our citizens," said Dick Hainje, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s Region VII. "This one-year anniversary is a reminder that cold weather can be just as dangerous as other types of severe weather. It is a good time to take stock of our plans to protect ourselves and our families in severe winter weather."
The storm devastated many communities. Emergency shelters were opened. At the peak of the storm in Missouri, almost 410,000 customers were without power. Crews from several states worked non-stop to restore power to customers. On February 4, Kansas Governor Graves and Missouri Governor Holden submitted to FEMA Region VII requests for major disaster declarations in their states. On February 6, President Bush issued disaster declarations for both Kansas and Missouri, clearing the way for federal programs to assist with the costs of recovery from the devastation left in the storm's path.
The following is a summary of response and recovery efforts for the state of Kansas.
- 35 counties were included in the disaster declaration;
- 10,540 individuals affected by the ice storm registered for assistance;
- $2,156,042 had been approved for eligible applicants under the Individual Assistance program;
- Statewide in Kansas, eligible projects under the Public Assistance program total $57,509,506; the federal share is $43,569,200.
The following is a summary of response and recovery efforts for the state of Missouri:
- 43 counties were included in the disaster declaration;
- 19,522 individuals affected by the ice storm registered for assistance;
- $3,656,249 had been approved for eligible applicants under the Individual Assistance program;
- Statewide in Missouri, eligible projects under the Public Assistance program total $62,090,379; the federal share is $47,039,815.
Under FEMA's Individual Assistance program funds became available to pay for temporary housing and essential home repairs. The Public Assistance program provides grant assistance for the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Non-Profit organizations. The Public Assistance program is a cost-share program with FEMA funding not less than 75 percent, and the balance being shared between the state and the applicant.
A Presidential disaster declaration also makes available to affected states FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The Kansas ice storm made $6.7 million available to the state to be used for long-term mitigation projects. Currently nine projects are being reviewed, including replacement of poles, conductors and upgrading wire for some electric coops, the construction of Safe Rooms in...