The season might have finally changed over, but federal and state officials are still sorting out the details of two February snowstorms that affected much of Kansas.
On Friday, the White House announced that it had approved a disaster declaration for parts of Kansas most affected by a winter storm that began Feb. 20 and lasted through Feb. 23. The declaration included Barber, Barton, Dickinson, Ellis, Franklin, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Kingman, Marion, McPherson, Ness, Osage, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Rice, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Smith and Stafford counties and makes those areas eligible for public assistance.
“We were not one of them,” Leavenworth County Emergency Manager Chuck Magaha said. “We were lacking about $110,000 that we still need to find.”
Magaha said he asked the public assistance team to rework some of the totals, making sure that the county gets all eligible costs documented.
“I thought I felt pretty confident that we would hit that,” he said. “But with snow emergency assistance through FEMA, it is extremely difficult to obtain.”
The state has a 30-day window to appeal the federal declaration and a window during which to go in and review those counties whose totals were close. Some entities here have yet to turn in their documentation, Magaha said.
The county now has $152,000 in collected costs, about $75,000 of which is from Leavenworth County itself. Though not included in the initial application for assistance, Magaha said the city of Leavenworth has documented $53,000 in costs, leaving $47,000 that county would have to find to be eligible for federal assistance.
“Every little bit helps at this point,” he said.