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Seward County declares disaster after late freeze causes damage PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 12:11

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By ROBERT PIERCE

• Leader & Times



After its commission chairman had signed the paperwork, Seward County has now had formal adoption of a resolution and proclamation declaring a state of disaster in the county.

The action was taken at Monday’s commission meeting, just hours before parts of the county were hit with more severe weather, including hail, and county administrator April Warden said the declaration came as a result of the recent winter storm that came to the area in late April.

“As a result of the winter storm that occurred on April 28 through May 1, Seward County, Kansas, did declare a disaster,” she said. “While Seward County was not hit as hard as our surrounding counties, what we were involved with is the efforts of disposing of cattle as a result of the winter storm from the surrounding counties.”

Warden said only landfills in Dodge City, Finney County and Seward County would assist with those disposal needs. She added a disaster needed to be declared in order to have farmers let local and state government officials know what damage was sustained to crops.

“We did go out to the different power companies that had damage to the power poles and worked on power outages,” she said. “The City of Liberal did have debris cleanup again as well as the county.”

Warden said county workers also assisted those who lost power in the storm with essential needs such as oxygen tanks. She said as of May 8, the City of Liberal had approximately $10,000 in snow removal costs and $40,000 in debris removal costs.

“The landfill had assisted at that time with 936 head of cattle,” she said. They were charging those expenses back to the feedyards and the owners. They will turn in that information to the state.”

Warden said damage to crops was a concern, but at this time, that damage to corn and wheat crops is not known. What is known, though, is the damage the storm did to electrical services.

“Between the four power companies in Seward County, they sustained $111,000 in damage at the time,” she said.

As a result of all of this, Warden said she was asking the commission to take action on the resolution and proclamation for the state of local disaster. She explained why commission chairman Nathan McCaffrey signed the documents before Monday’s approval.

“It was required to be in by the state and then you take formal action at the next commission meeting,” she said. “The State of Kansas only gives you so long to sign the state of disaster, and they do look at your chairmans to take care of that. You just put on the next meeting to be adopted by your board, or the board could hold a special meeting, but most counties were doing it exactly as we are doing it this evening.”

The commission voted unanimously to adopt, and to some extent ratify, the resolution and proclamation.

 

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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