State declares county a disaster area
Marion is one of 15 counties included in a state emergency disaster declaration because of severe storms and flooding.
According to a release from Kansas Division of Emergency Management, the declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to help with response and recovery operations.
River gauges show major and moderate flooding, with the majority in south central and southeast Kansas, KDEM said.
County emergency manager Randy Frank said Kansas Department of Transportation helped close US-56 between K-256 and 190th Rd. and US-50 between the US-77/US-50 roundabout and east of Florence Wednesday evening.
“We haven’t requested any additional resources at this point,” Frank said.
Besides the two highways, 24 county roads were closed during the height of the flood, he said. No emergency shelters had to be set up.
County commissioners made a verbal declaration of disaster Wednesday and will make a written declaration of disaster at Monday’s commission meeting, Frank said.
Even though receding water allowed many roads to reopen Thursday, additional rain could cause additional flooding, he said.
“Water is one of the strongest nature forces there is,” Frank said. “Water can move a vehicle off a road very quickly. For the safety of the driver and the safety of the rescuers, don’t enter the water.”
Besides not driving into floodwater, Frank recommends additional caution at this time.
“We’re in the cleanup phase now,” he said. “There are still dangers out there, with the water and even the mud. I encourage the residents and visitors of Marion County to observe the dangers and stay away from them.”
If counties in the affected region have sufficient damage, a federal disaster declaration could be sought, Frank said.
A federal disaster declaration would provide partial reimbursement to counties for expenses related to repairs of roads, infrastructure systems, public buildings, and the like.