Government & Politics

Federal disaster relief money will reimburse JoCo for these expenses

July storms flooded many roads in Johnson County.
July storms flooded many roads in Johnson County. Photo provided

Johnson County has been approved for a federal disaster declaration and the promise of millions of dollars to help cover damage repairs from severe storms in July.

“The approval of the disaster declaration will provide needed funding assistance of public facilities and roadways,” Johnson County Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Robeson said in a statement Wednesday. “These storms left approximately $6 million in uninsured damages, so this assistance will be extremely helpful to the county and cities.”

The storms hit between July 22 and July 27. High winds first struck the county, causing power outages and debris. Then followed torrential rain, with 4 to 6 inches of rain and even heavier amounts in some isolated areas. Record high water levels were recorded throughout the county. Low-lying areas along Indian Creek, Turkey Creek, Tomahawk, Creek, Little Mil Creek and the Blue River had the most severe problems.

The federal funding is for government entities and not private property owners. It will not reimburse the county for 100 percent of its wind and flood repair costs, but could help with up to 75 percent of the $6 million in eligible expenses.

The storms caused significant damage in Leawood to public facilities, including a parks maintenance facility and vehicles, golf course, city park and fire truck. Sections of Mission Road between 171st and 175th Street were also damaged.

The Johnson County Parks and Recreation District sustained damage to streamway trails, Heritage Park Golf Course, Tomahawk Hills Golf Course and Nelson Island on the north end of Mill Creek adjacent to the Kansas River.

Wyandotte County was also part of the disaster declaration, which makes it eligible for reimbursement of at least several million dollars worth of expenses. Wyandotte County was still confirming its dollar amounts on Wednesday.

Flood damage was also reported in Kansas City, Mo., but the damages sustained within the city did not meet necessary dollar losses for a declaration.

Lynn Horsley: 816-226-2058, @LynnHorsley