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19-042 SEOC begins third week of activation for storms and floods

June 3, 2019 | By slarson

Two weeks after its activation, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated 24/7 to monitor flooding affecting the state.

Several states are providing response and recovery support to assist Kansas through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a multistate, mutual-aid agreement that facilitates interstate assistance for large-scale disasters. States currently supporting Kansas operations are Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. The assistance includes trained personnel and equipment to augment state and local agencies involved in the disaster response.

Kansas Division of Emergency Management deployed state liaisons to assist counties as needed.

Water levels are trending downward, but emergency management agencies are still watching rivers and lake conditions. The Riley County evacuation advisory has been lifted due to decreasing water levels on Tuttle Creek and residents have been allowed to return home. The flood pool has dropped to approximately 97 percent of capacity as the reservoir continues to release water at 30,000 cubic feet per second.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has advised that Milford Lake will be going into critical surveillance today due to current pool levels. A dam safety engineer will be deployed onsite for 24-hour surveillance. Engineers have scheduled an increase in the release rate to 4,000 cfs today.

John Redmond Reservoir has stabilized, but is still being monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Verdigris River has seen decreases with minor flooding levels in Independence and Coffeyville. The levees along the Verdigris River near Coffeyville continue to be watched.

Work is being done today on the watershed dam near Sabetha, which was the source of some concern last week. Following an official order this morning from the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources, in light of anticipated rains this week, a contractor is slowly lowering the dam to decrease the water level. This is being done in increments to empty the reservoir so that the dam can be repaired. The work is being done slowly so that there will be no flood damage and very little downstream effects. Once the reservoir is empty, a plan will be developed to make necessary repairs to the dam. Atthe request of Gov. Laura Kelly, teams of local, state and federal disaster specialists are conducting Preliminary Damage Assessments in Douglas and Leavenworth Counties, which were affected by tornadoes that occurred on May 28.

Teams will begin the surveys to determine the scope and extent of damage to residential infrastructure. The teams are comprised of representatives from Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration, Kansas Division of Emergency Management and local officials.

Additional counties will be added to the request as flooding recedes and damage reports are received by the state from local officials.

The governor has also requested Preliminary Damage Assessments be conducted in several Kansas counties affected by severe weather and flooding beginning on April 28. The PDAs will help determine eligibility to apply for public assistance grants. These are given to state and local governments and certain non-profit entities to assist them with the response to and recovery from disasters.

All American Red Cross shelters were closed as of 10 a.m. today. Ten shelters are on standby in Dickinson, Jefferson, Montgomery, Neosho, Reno, Saline and Wabaunsee Counties. All pet shelters have been closed as of 10 a.m. today. Four other pet shelters are on standby. The Kansas State Animal Response Team is supporting pet shelter needs, as needed.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Vital Statistics has temporarily suspended the provisions of the regulatory statutes and rules and regulations prescribing the requirement for fee assessment for people who need to obtain certified copies of birth and marriage certificates that were lost in the May 28 tornadoes which swept through Douglas, Leavenworth, Mitchell, Osborne and Washington counties.

The KDHE Office of Vital Statistics is providing assistance to disaster victims who need to replace birth and marriage certificates for their immediate family. This service will end August 2. This offer is not available to anyone who has not been verified as a victim in the damaged area in the above stated counties on May 28.

Kansans with additional questions are encouraged to visit the Vital Statistics website call 785-296-1400 for more information.

The Kansas Army National Guard is supporting a water haul mission in Jefferson County. The Kansas National Guards Joint Operation Center is staffed 24/7 and coordinating requests for assistant from KDEM.

Flooding continues to affect roadways across Kansas. For continuously-updated road condition information, go to r dial 5-1-1. Flooding information is shown on the construction map so that all highway closures can be seen at once. Other construction information, camera views, weather websites and travel details are also available.

Thirty-three Kansas counties are now included an emergency federal disaster declaration from President Donald Trump. These counties are Allen, Anderson, Butler, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Franklin, Geary, Greenwood, Harvey, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Linn, Lyon, Marshall, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Reno, Riley, Saline, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Wilson, and Woodson.

An emergency declaration supplements state and local government efforts for required emergency measures to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe through direct federal assistance for emergency protective measures.

Sixty counties are now listed in the state disaster proclamation signed by Governor Laura Kelly May 9. Counties currently named in the declaration are Allen, Anderson, Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Edwards, Elk, Ellsworth, Franklin, Geary, Gray, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Jefferson, Kingman, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Norton, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Riley, Rush, Russell, Saline, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, and Woodson.