TOPEKA — The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka remained activated overnight to monitor weather conditions across the state and respond to requests for assistance due to widespread severe storms and flooding. It will remain activated 24/7 until further notice.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management sent out a request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact for an Advance Team to assist with coordinating interstate resource requests, geospatial information system specialists to assist with development of mapping products, and liaison officers to interface with impacted counties as needed.
“Kansas is experiencing historic flooding and water levels due to extended heavy rain,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “In order to proactively expand our resources and ensure the Kansas Division of Emergency Management has everything it needs to assist local partners and keep people safe, we have requested, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, an advanced team to assist our personnel. As we work with impacted communities, I want to ensure that every resource is being brought to bear to assist local emergency personnel so we can keep people safe and limit damage to property.”
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact is a multistate, mutual aid agreement that facilitates interstate assistance in response and recovery operations during a disaster.
Evacuations began at Melvern Lake and Tuttle Creek reservoirs as a safety measure due to the potential for releases from both reservoirs. The Outlet Park at Melvern Lake was evacuated and closed the evening of May 25; the River Pond Park and Rocky Ford areas of Tuttle Creek State Park will be evacuated and closed by 8.p.m. this evening.
Cowley County reported sand boils on a levee at Arkansas City. Residents were advised to be prepared to evacuate, if necessary, but an evacuation order has not been issued at this time.
There is one American Red Cross shelter currently open and five on standby to receive people displaced by flooding. The open shelter is in Wilson County at Fredonia High School, 916 Robinson Street, Fredonia. Shelters are on standby in Dickinson, Neosho, Saline, and Wilson counties.
The Kansas National Guard has prepositioned high wheeled vehicles and personnel at designated positions throughout the affected area to assist with the evacuation process if needed.
Nine airmen from the Kansas National Guard’s 184th Intelligence Wing’s Unclassified Processing Assessment and Dissemination continue to support the Kansas Division of Emergency Management with geospatial imagery. The airmen will provide unclassified satellite imagery of affected areas, which will be used for real-time condition, damage assessment, predictive analysis and situational awareness.
The Kansas Highway Patrol has two troopers assisting with road closures to keep vehicles off flooded roads. The KHP is also doing aerial flood damage assessment using their Bell 407 helicopter.
Personnel from the Kansas Department of Transportation delivered pallets of bottled water overnight to a requested location.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing water pump support, manual sandbag machines, approximately 173,900 sandbags and a Hesco barrier.
Multiple roadways have been closed throughout the state. For updated road information go online to www.KanDrive.org. The site displays information from KDOT’s traveler information technology, including highway cameras, dynamic message signs, traffic management centers and 511 phone, online and mobile (http://511mm.ksdot.org).
State and Federal agencies that have reported to the SEOC are Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Kansas National Guard, Civil Air Patrol, Office of the State Fire Marshal, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Department for Children and Families, Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Water Office, National Weather Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA. Other partners in the SEOC is the American Red Cross.