Archive for Tuesday, August 15, 2017

City of Shawnee reveals storm damage numbers

Shawnee public works crews clear trees off Midland Drive, west of Interstate 435, after the high-wind storm in June.

Shawnee public works crews clear trees off Midland Drive, west of Interstate 435, after the high-wind storm in June.

August 15, 2017

Damages from the recent storms in July cost the city of Shawnee more than a half-million dollars.

On Monday afternoon, city officials confirmed to the Dispatch that it recently reported $564,055 in damage to Johnson County Emergency Management.

That number is for the storms that took place from July 22-23 and July 26-27.

The city reported $403,055 in stormwater infrastructure damage, $35,000 in facility repairs and around $12,000 in damage to a salt tent.

Employees racked up $26,000 in regular time and $16,000 in overtime to clean up the city and repair the damage.

Contract labor was reported at $72,000.

The storms in late July led to widespread power outages, large amounts of debris, as well as widespread flash flooding across the Kansas City metro area.

At the council committee meeting last week, Matt Epperson, the city’s emergency services director, told the governing body that on July 27, the Board of County Commissioners declared a disaster in Johnson County. It was the first time in over 15 years it had declared a disaster.

Although the storm numbers may seem high in Shawnee, other areas had it even worse, he added.

The Johnson County Parks & Recreation District alone is looking at over one million dollars for trails, Tomahawk Golf Course, he pointed out, and the city of Leawood is looking at several million dollars worth of damage due to flooding.

In Shawnee, city workers in numerous departments were kept on their toes.

Epperson said a typical call load for a day for the Shawnee Fire Department is 15 calls.

“The night of the wind event, they ran over 50 calls in a 12 to 15 hour period, including two house fires in Shawnee and another structure fire they ran outside the city,” he told the council.

The storms in June also cost the city money.

“Normally we budget three tree storm debris per year for about $15,000 to get it mulched,” said Doug Whitacre, Shawnee Public Works Director. “In most cases, we mulch it and then let the residents come and get it.

“In the June storm, we did three times the amount we normally did.”

The city said it is still tracking miscellaneous storm costs from the past storm.

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