Trump declares disaster in Kansas after massive tornado

Trump declares disaster in Kansas after massive tornado
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE declared a state of emergency in Kansas Tuesday night and ordered federal assistance to the state to deal with the effects of a massive tornado that struck Tuesday and the lingering effects from flooding earlier this month. 

The declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts “which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population.” Federal emergency protective measures will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.

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The storms, which are expected to continue into Wednesday, ravaged northeastern Kansas Tuesday, prompting the National Weather Service to declare a “tornado emergency” for several counties and the Kansas City metropolitan area.

No fatalities have yet been reported, but 12 people suffered storm-related injuries, according to  the Kansas City Star. An outage map operated by Westar Energy indicated that more than 3,000 buildings lacked power Wednesday morning. 

The tornados that struck Kansas are part of a larger pattern of severe weather that has also hit parts of Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma. Trump also declared states of emergency for Missouri and Oklahoma in recent days.

The tornadoes come as Kansas experiences one of its wettest months in history, which prompted Gov. Laura Kelly (D) to declare a state of disaster in 49 of 105 counties, according to The Wichita Eagle.

The weather service first warned on Tuesday evening of the storms, which it said could produce “a few tornadoes,” hail and winds greater than 60 mph.

“This is a DANGEROUS situation!” the weather service tweeted, adding that the Kansas tornado “will be rain-wrapped so it will be hard to see.”

Multiple reports emerged of debris falling from the sky as the weather service urged people to take shelter. Falling debris caused the Kansas City International Airport to temporarily close.

Kelly said she appreciates Trump’s help but fears that as the storm continues more assistance may be needed.

“Due to extreme weather & flooding, KS is facing significant weather related challenges. I’m pleased the president granted these counties emergency support. Sadly, with more devastating storms hitting several communities tonight, this may only be the beginning of support KS needs,” she tweeted Tuesday.