Edgerton was recently notified there would be no additional state or federal funds to help overcome losses from the Aug. 21, 2017, flood, which reached the 500 year level and temporarily covered roads blocking access to the city.
Beth Linn, city administrator, told council members Sept. 14 that the city’s uninsured losses were just below the threshold required by the state to declare disaster. “We were notified last Friday that we did not meet the threshold,” she said.
“Long story short for that is there will not be additional assistance from federal for uninsured loss. We continue to work with our insurance companies on the claims side,” said Linn.
Edgerton experienced catastrophic flooding during the early morning hours of Aug. 22. “The Public Works facility in particular experienced nearly 14 feet of water submerging much of our vehicle and equipment fleet. We are currently working approximately 40 individual claims related to the vehicles and equipment,” Linn said.
Following the incident, the Edgerton staff met with representatives from Johnson County Emergency Management and Kansas Department of Emergency Management (KDEM). During those meetings, Edgerton was asked to develop and submit a preliminary estimate of uninsured loss from the event. To qualify for submittal of a request to the State of Kansas for declaration of disaster, the uninsured loss from Johnson County had to be at least $1.9 MM. If that was met, then the State of Kansas had to meet a threshold of $4 MM in uninsured loss statewide to qualify to submit a request for federal declaration of disaster to FEMA. City of Edgerton submitted a preliminary estimate of uninsured loss of approximately $1.7 MM from damages incurred on parking lots, roads, stream erosion, dams, etc.
On Sept. 1, 2017, Edgerton was notified by Johnson County Emergency Management staff that the Kansas Department of Emergency Management (KDEM) had completed the disaster assessment for severe storms and flooding during the incident period of Aug. 3-25, 2017. KDEM indicated that they would not be requesting additional federal support for the Public Assistance Program. Edgerton staff asked Johnson County Emergency Management to follow up with KDEM to understand the magnitude of gap between the federal threshold and the state threshold. KDEM indicated preliminary estimate for impact to the state was $2 MM, meaning it was $2 MM short of the federal threshold.
“Due to the number of claims and the damage to vehicles and equipment, the flood event has impacted Edgerton operations,” Linn told the council. “Staff continues to manage the claims process in addition to completing our daily tasks in providing services to the citizens of Edgerton.”
At the time of the flood, employees were in the process of doing prep work for mill and overlay street improvement project, but due to equipment damage the project had to be completed by contractor. The city had to ask the contractor to complete the prep work and incur expense beyond what was originally approved.
Two of the three mowers were a total loss from the flood damage and one of three utility trailers that were submerged for about a week.
The city also replaced one of three damaged dump trucks, so that they will have at least one snow plow capable truck available.
Linn said the goal is to get back to being able to provide critical services to citizens.
“Edgerton wants to thank our public safety partners, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Johnson County Fire District No. 1, for the assistance they provided during the event,” Linn said. “In addition, we greatly appreciate the generosity of the City of Olathe and Water District No. 7 who have loaned us equipment to continue to provide critical level of service to the residents.”