Governor requests 'major presidential declaration' for Kansas flooding, tornadoes

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KAKE) -

Governor Laura Kelly sent a request to President Donald Trump on Monday asking for a major presidential declaration for the public assistance program for 63 counties in Kansas due to record rainfall and severe weather.

The weather that began April 28 and continued through May caused flash flooding and numerous tornadoes. The Public Assistance program helps pay for restoration of public infrastructure and associated costs caused by flooding and tornado damage.

“Due to the historic torrential rains, thunderstorms, tornadoes and damaging winds, Kansas has suffered extended damage,” Kelly said. “We must continue to provide Kansans with the assistance, resources, and long-term fixes to infrastructure we need during this difficult time.”

(More: May precipitation sets all-time records in Kansas)

The Kansas State University Weather Data Library says average rainfall in May was 10.26 inches, the wettest month on records going back 125 years.

The rainfall was uneven but followed typical patterns of being drier in the west and wetter in the east. Southeast Kansas stations averaged 17 inches in May, while west central Kansas stations averaged only 5.31 inches, which is still 175% of normal rainfall for the region in May.

The following counties are listed in Gov. Kelly's request:

Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Barber, Barton, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Edwards, Elk, Ellsworth, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Gray, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Jefferson, Kingman, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Norton, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Riley, Rush, Russell, Saline, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, and Woodson.