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Sep 26

News Release: FEMA Individual Assistance Not Expected

Posted on September 26, 2018 at 11:18 AM by Vivienne Uccello

(MANHATTAN, KS – September 21, 2018) After Governor Colyer declared a state of disaster for five counties in Kansas following the September 3, 2018 flood, a request was made to the President to provide federal aid. The requirements for some, but not all, forms of federal aid were met based on the scale and severity of the disaster.

It is anticipated that Public Assistance (PA) grant funding will occur from FEMA based upon public damage estimates of $2.7 million in infrastructure for the City of Manhattan.  Through the program, FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly-owned facilities.  The federal share of costs is 75%, with the State and local entities covering the other 25%.  Typically damage levels must reach $271K in a County and $4 million across the State to be eligible for PA funding.   

The Small Business Administration (SBA) reviewed the event and made a disaster declaration on September 17, 2018.  The SBA declaration allows them to  provide low-interest loans to businesses, individuals, and non-profits.  Homeowners may borrow up to $200K to repair or replace their primary residence, and homeowners or renters may borrow up to $40K to replace personal property.  The SBA is set up from 9am-6pm at City Park Offices in north City Park until next Thursday, September 27. 

It is not anticipated the Individual Assistance (IA) funds from FEMA will come from this event.  Typically, for the population density in Kansas (2-10 million residents) FEMA IA is provided when 1,377 individuals or families, and 587 or more homes are destroyed in a disaster event. In the Wildcat Creek flood, a total of 327 individuals and 102 homes were impacted, meaning the threshold was not met for IA and individuals can’t get direct IA funds for their private property.  

However, local service agencies have formed a long-term recovery committee to help meet some of the financial needs of people whose personal property, vehicles, and homes were damaged or destroyed in the flood. So far, approximately $8,000 dollars has been raised in the fund. Applications for this aid are available at www.cityofmhk.com/flood, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and at Shepherd’s Crossing.  The committee will review applicants and funds will be distributed on the basis of need.

Donations to the 2018 Manhattan Recovery Fund may be made through the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation online at www.mcfks.org/flood or by texting the word FLOOD to 785-284-8783. For more information about donating to the fund, contact Vern Hendricks at the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation at 785-587-8995.

To find more information about how to help people impacted by the flood or to add your name to the list of volunteers, contact the City Manager’s Office Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 785-587-2404.