More Federal Disaster Aid Offered to Kansas for Storm Damage

January 24, 2007

Federal officials have expanded the disaster relief available for areas of western Kansas hit by severe winter storms in late December, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts said Monday.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration will reimburse state and local governments up to 75 percent of costs to repair public buildings, roads and damaged utility poles and lines, Roberts said. The remaining 25 percent will be divided between the state and local agencies.

Officials have estimated damage from the storm that blanketed western Kansas with snow and ice will exceed $360 million.

Roberts had complained earlier this month after FEMA offered the state access to only two of the seven major types of public disaster assistance: emergency protection and debris removal.

“I must commend the people of Kansas for really leaning forward to help their neighbors,” Roberts said. “I especially want to thank the folks at the Region 7 FEMA office who have worked around the clock to make this new aid available to those still suffering.”

Roberts said the additional aid is critical to residents in rural communities who would otherwise be saddled with higher energy bills and taxes to make up for damage repairs.

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