TOPEKA, Kansas -- Local governments in 14 additional Kansas counties are now eligible to apply for reimbursements for losses or costs resulting from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that affected the state from mid-June to mid-July, federal and state recovery officials said today.
The counties are Butler, Cherokee, Ellis, Graham, Jewell, Labette, Lyon, Mitchell, Osborne, Phillips, Rush, Russell, Smith and Trego.
These counties join Geary, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties which were declared federal disaster areas by President Bush on Aug. 3, 2004. In all, 17 Kansas counties are now included in that declaration.
"These counties are the ones that suffered major damage to their public infrastructure - roads, bridges and utilities - from high winds, heavy rains and flooding. These Public Assistance funds will assist the counties to effect repairs more quickly and also to mitigate damage from future storms," said Maj. Gen. (KS) Tod Bunting, the Governor's Authorized Representative.
Affected state and local government agencies and certain non-profit agencies providing a government-like service in the 17 counties are eligible to apply for reimbursements for the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.
The assistance is provided under the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State of Kansas Public Assistance Program. The state administers the program. FEMA pays 75 percent of the approved costs. The other 25 percent is made up from non-federal sources.
Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.