Legislators work to find ways to help flood victims

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Special Committee on Natural Resources met Tuesday to review the damages of floods from last spring, and find ways to better prepare for when the natural disaster strikes again.

In the last three to four years, the duration of floods has lasted much longer, causing further damages, which Chair of the Committee and Senator Jeff Longbine (R-Emporia) finds concerning.

“It’s a matter of determining if there is anything we can do,” Longbine said. “We can’t legislate Mother Nature, but what we can do is be better prepared for the extremes.”

Longbine hopes the committee can work with state and federal agencies, including the Kansas Department of Agriculture and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to develop policies and processes that make citizens aware of who to contact or where to go when they are in need of assistance during a flood.

“There’s a lot of confusion among the public on who they talk to, whether that’s on a county level, state level or federal level,” Longbine said.

The committee is also wanting to find ways to shorten the duration of floods to keep the water flowing in the state, Longbine said.

The cause of longer floods is unknown, according to Longbine. The National Weather Service presented to the Committee, saying that there has been a pattern in Kansas where the weather fluctuates from experiencing extreme rain to extreme drought.

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