(MANHATTAN, KS – September 4, 2018) Gov. Jeff Colyer MD has issued a state of disaster emergency declaration for five Kansas counties affected by flooding over the weekend. Named in the declaration are Jewell, Kingman, Marshall, Pratt, and Riley Counties. The declaration allows for possible state and federal aid. It also opens up opportunities for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with government agency costs associated with disasters.
Local inspectors are working to assess flood damage using FEMA's substantial damage estimator. A total estimate of damage will not be available until all properties have been inspected and assessed.
The American Red Cross is still operating two emergency shelters for displaced residents. The shelters are located at Pottorf Hall (allowing pets) at 1710 Avery, and St. Thomas More Church (not allowing pets) at 2900 Kimball Avenue. An estimated 300 people were displaced by flooding. Some have been able to return home, 28 stayed in Red Cross shelters last night, while others chose to seek shelter elsewhere. Some of the residents who sought temporary shelter are expected to stay in the Red Cross shelters tonight, where there is a combined capacity to accommodate 200.
Donations of furniture, clothing, and other goods are not needed at this time and the local Red Cross will not accept them. People who wish to help are being advised to give a monetary donation to the social service organization of their choice so that the real needs of displaced residents can be assessed and met.
USD 383 will resume all normal bus pick up locations and times beginning tomorrow, September 5, 2018. Buses will be sent to both shelter locations in the morning to pick up any students that may be staying there:
* St. Thomas More - secondary bus at 7:15am / elementary bus at 8:15am
* Pottorf Hall - secondary bus at 7:20am / elementary bus at 8:20am
Additional rainfall is expected overnight and water levels will be monitored closely. Residents are advised to visit the Riley County website at https://www.rileycountyks.gov/917/Emergency-Notifications to sign up for emergency notifications.
The Riley County Health Department will be issuing information for safe flood cleanup practices, and more information can be found on the City of Manhattan website at www.cityofmhk.com .