Once the response phase of the flooding event concluded, the recovery phase began. The county and cities, townships, etc. are then tasked with the assessment and documentation of all damages to public infrastructure. Photographs prior to repairs, repair estimates and any expenses incurred from the flood itself should be collected, calculated and labeled.
There are several phases to the impending damage assessment process. The first step is to determine if the state has reached the predetermined threshold of $4,279,677. This was easily surpassed several days ago. The governor petitioned the president last night for a presidential disaster declaration which would then permit FEMA to provide public assistance. The declaration signed previously was to release response funds, not mitigation and public assistance funds.
The preliminary damage assessment representative arrived this week to determine if Montgomery County qualified to be a part of that impending declaration by reaching the county threshold of $134,080. We went to the City of Independence first, which had documented well over the threshold amount. Since the threshold had then been exceeded, visiting the County or the City of Coffeyville was no longer necessary.
Once FEMA has validated our damages, Montgomery County will be designated as an add-on county to the disaster. Certain things such as damage to federal roads, Corps of Engineers or personal property are not qualifying entities. Qualifying expenses include City, county and township roads, bridges, debris removal, damages to city, county or township property, and time and/or overtime spent in response efforts by employees, and other expenses incurred in response efforts.
The next phase in the public assistance process will include a KDEM project manager collecting all available information from all of the public sectors involved and gathering photographs and documentation to support possible reimbursement. This is merely a summary of the process as the situation currently exists, and not meant to be all-inclusive.
Rick E. Whitson
Director of Emergency Management,
District Fire Chief, Deputy Coroner
300 East Main
Independence, Kansas, 67301