Preliminary damage assessments have begun in more than 40 Kansas counties — including the Wichita metropolitan area — struck by two strong winter storms in less than a week last month.
State officials say the assessments will determine if any of the counties will be eligible for federal aid to recoup disaster-related expenses.
“The widespread effects and prolonged duration of the winter storms resulted in additional costs for snow removal and debris cleanup in addition to restoration of electrical power to thousands of Kansans,” Angee Morgan, Kansas Division of Emergency Management deputy director, said in a prepared statement. “We believe those added costs will make many counties eligible to receive federal assistance.”
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency March 1 requesting the assessments for the following counties: Barber, Barton, Butler, Dickinson, Douglas, Ellis, Ellsworth, Franklin, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Jewell, Johnson, Kingman, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Marion, McPherson, Ness, Osage, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Stafford, Sumner, Trego and Wyandotte. An amendment later requested that Clay, Lyon, Miami and Wichita counties be added to the list.
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The assessments are being conducted by joint FEMA/KDEM inspection teams.