Dear Mr. President:
We write today in support of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management's request that you declare a major disaster for the State of Kansas following the severe winter storms that occurred in our state from March 17-22, 2022. These severe winter storms produced heavy snow with a very high moisture content and wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour. These storms severely damaged our state's infrastructure, and impacted our constituents' livelihood. Federal support is necessary to help our communities respond to this disaster.
Kansans experienced two winter storms in the period of just five days. Both storms produced a very wet, heavy snow and wind gusts that caused widespread power outages throughout Kansas. The storms devastated 20 counties in western and central Kansas, and all 105 counties and the four federally recognized tribal nations in Kansas were impacted by the storm systems. Thousands of feet of electric distribution and transmission systems were damaged as well as 86 miles of power conductors. The Kansas Department of Transportation was forced to close 127 miles of Interstate 70 due to poor visibility, accidents, and downed power lines. The damage caused by these storms will have long-lasting effects on the people of Kansas and its economy. The damage caused by these unseasonal winter storms has been exacerbated by a recent tornado in southeastern Kansas. The tornado, 440 yards wide with a wind speed of 165 miles per hour, destroyed multiple structures and left 20,000 homes and businesses without power.
We again express whole-hearted support for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management's request. Federal support must be quickly made available to equip our state and local governments with the resources necessary to respond to the devastation caused from these severe storms.