KS governor requests 'major presidential declaration' after widespread flooding, tornadoes

TOPEKA, Kan. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly Monday sent a request to President Donald Trump, asking for "a major presidential declaration for the public assistance program" for 63 Kansas counties. The request is in response to widespread flooding, severe storms and tornadoes.

"The Public Assistance program helps pay for restoration of public infrastructure and associated costs caused by flooding and tornado damage," Kelly's office explains.

“Due to the historic torrential rains, thunderstorms, tornadoes and damaging winds, Kansas has suffered extended damage,” Kelly says. “We must continue to provide Kansans with the assistance, resources, and long-term fixes to infrastructure we need during this difficult time.”

Counties listed in the request are: Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Barber, Barton, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Edwards, Elk, Ellsworth, Ford, 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.

Earlier this month, the president brought the total number of Kansas counties in a federal disaster declaration to 33, adding 15 to the list of 18 originally named.

That declaration ordered federal assistance to supplement 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.

The counties named in the prior declaration include: Anderson, Butler, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Elk, Franklin, Greenwood, Harvey, Montgomery, Neosho, Osage, Reno, Sumner, Wilson, and Woodson, Allen, Doniphan, Dickinson, Douglas, Geary, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Linn, Lyon, Marshall, Morris, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, and Wabaunsee.