President Responds to Governor's Request for Assistance

Disaster declaration authorized for all Kansas counties.

Governor Kathleen Sebelius was notified Wednesday that her request for a federal emergency disaster declaration for all 105 Kansas counties as a result of the ice storm which began December 6th has been authorized by President George W. Bush.

Sebelius signed a letter to the White House on Tuesday, requesting federal assistance to help the state recover from the impact of the storm. Sebelius also spoke with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff this afternoon and asked that Kansas' request be expedited.

"I'm very encouraged by the quick response of the President and members of his administration," Sebelius said in a statement. "I'm happy to report that not only has the President signed the declaration, but our request for drinking water and generators has also been granted and supplies are on their way. This puts us in a better position with our response and recovery from these storms across the state."

Sebelius declared a state of emergency disaster Monday, Dec. 10 in anticipation of worsening conditions. As of Wednesday, power companies reported more than 130,000 Kansas customers without service throughout the state.

In the request for the federal emergency disaster declaration, Governor Sebelius asked for the Public Assistance program to assist communities with debris removal and emergency protective measures taken before, during, and after the disaster to save lives and protect the public's health.

State and local agencies that responded and are continuing to provide response and recovery support include the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas National Guard, Kansas Department of Transportation, American Red Cross and Salvation Army. The Kansas Adjutant General's Department is coordinating the state's response actions.

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