TOPEKA, Kansas -- Hamilton County will receive federal aid money for snow removal costs in the wake of the Dec. 28-31 winter storm, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today. Hamilton joins 11 other counties that are eligible for snow removal assistance after suffering record or near-record snowfall during the storm.
Government agencies and certain non-profit organizations in 44 western Kansas counties are eligible for FEMA assistance for storm damage, which totaled an estimated $362 million. The entities have begun the process of adding up and documenting their disaster-related costs.
Most of the damage - an estimated $350 million - was to electrical utilities, with power lines and poles downed by freezing rain that led to heavy ice formation. Most of western Kansas gets electricity from rural electric cooperatives, which as private nonprofit organizations are eligible for federal disaster assistance.
Under the public assistance program, FEMA will pay 75 percent of eligible repair costs, with the remaining 25 percent divided between the state and local agencies.
FEMA assistance for the Dec. 28-31 winter storm in Kansas is limited to public assistance. FEMA's public assistance grant program provides assistance to states, local governments, and certain non-profit organizations for repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly owned facilities and facilities of qualified non-profit organizations. FEMA pays 75 percent of eligible costs. The grantee (usually the state) determines how the non-federal share is split with the eligible applicants.
There was not enough damage to warrant Individual Assistance grants. Individuals, farmers and ranchers who need assistance should contact the Kansas Rural Family Helpline at 866-327-6578.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.