Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
On the night of Aug 21 through the early morning of Aug. 22, 2017, Edgerton received a historic amount of rainfall that resulted in flooding which caused extensive damage to city buildings, vehicles and equipment. Several departments were incapable of even functioning at a basic level for over two weeks, and this impacted essential city services.
For a short time, flood waters made direct access to Edgerton impossible, and Edgerton City Hall opened two hours later at 10 a.m. the next morning.
The emergency situation prompted city council to temporarily suspend the city’s standard purchasing policies so that purchases directly related to the flood damage could be purchased quickly by the city administrator.
The suspension temporarily allows purchases that normally need council consideration to instead only need approval by the mayor, and accounted for to council afterwards.
Additional vehicles that were damaged by the flood still need to be replaced but Linn says those will presented to council for consideration through the normal vehicle and equipment replacement process as part of the 2019 budget.
Immediately following the flood, staff began assessing the damage and met with representatives from Johnson County Emergency Management and Kansas Department of Emergency Management (KDEM) to see if the event was eligible for disaster aid.
On Sept 1, 2017, the city was notified that damages did not meet the the threshold and the city would not receive any disaster relief funds. For FEMA to declare disaster in a state, the threshold is $4M in uninsured loss statewide. Edgerton reported $1.7M of uninsured loss.
Staff and the city’s insurance provider have processed and closed over 40 claims for vehicles and equipment damage.
Eleven vehicles were damaged – four were repaired and seven were a total loss and replaced.
“Most of those were either located at Big Bull Creek Wastewater Plant, or inside or in the upper part of the parking lot at Public Works” said Linn. The city recovered 84 percent of the original purchase price from insurance.
Twenty-one pieces of heavy equipment were damaged – three required repair and eighteen were a total loss. The city recovered about 88 percent of the original purchase price of that equipment.
The city also received insurance payout for various tools under $1000 in value and for damage to computers, phones and other information technology equipment.
Flood purchase made to date are $774,135 and insurance has paid out $635,738.