Johnson County to receive $4.5 million for July severe weather damage

Posted at 6:01 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 23:28:09-05

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — Months after a severe storm led to around $6 million in uninsured damages to public roads and buildings, Johnson County will receive federal disaster assistance to help cover the cost of repairs.

The storm hit on July 22 and brought heavy rain, flooding, and high winds to the area.

Three and a half months later, damage can still be seen.

The Leawood Parks and Recreation maintenance building sits abandoned off 104th Street, with several office items randomly placed in spots around the parking lot.

Water reached up to emergency responders’ waists back in July, and the water damage from that day has made the building unable to be used.

“It's had water damage in it and there's probably mold,” explained Chief David Williams of the Leawood Fire Department. “We were all over the city. There was damage throughout the city. This (the Parks & Rec building) was the bulk of damage." 

Williams said during the response, flood water could be seen around the bed of dump trucks parked close by.

The water also rushed into around 30 cars parked near the facility, totaling many of them.

Despite the storm happening back in the summer, Williams told 41 Action News the recovery continues to impact Parks & Rec workers everyday.

“The people that worked here are spread out over the city,” he explained. “Some are at public works, some are at the golf course."

According to a spokesperson for Johnson County, the federal disaster assistance will help cover 75 percent of the cost of repairs from the storm.

The remaining 25 percent will be split by the state and county.

Moving forward, Chief Williams said the assistance would go a long way.

“It will help offset the expenses. That's what the grant is for. It's to help us recover,” he explained. “In the long term, it will help us replace this building and replace all the vehicles that got damaged."

Chief Williams added that it is still unknown what will happen to the abandoned Parks & Recreation maintenance building.

The federal disaster assistance will go towards reimbursing costs for fixing public roads and buildings, not personal homes or businesses.