The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced this week that federal disaster funds have been made available for Kansas to help communities recover from the effects of the winter storms that struck the state in early January.
Michael Brown, under secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said President Bush authorized the aid under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of FEMA’s analysis of the state’s request for federal assistance. The declaration covers damage to public property from the severe storms, heavy rains and flooding that occurred over the period of Jan. 4-6.
After the President’s action, Brown designated 32 counties eligible for federal funding to pay the state and affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations 75 percent of the approved costs for emergency work and the restoration of damaged facilities.
The designated counties include Anderson, Atchison, Barber, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Clark, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Douglas, Elk, Franklin, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Jefferson, Kingman, Lyon, Marion, Morris, Osage, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Woodson and Wyandotte.
In addition, Brown said federal funds will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Thomas Costello of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate the federal relief effort. Costello said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected area.
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