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49 KS counties now a part of disaster declaration…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: May 28, 2019

Sacha SanguinettiMay 28, 2019

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s state of disaster declaration now includes nearly half of the state’s counties.  Forty-nine counties are now part of the declaration following the addition of Hodgeman, Marshall and Linn counties.  Kelly has sent a letter to President Trump to request federal assistance with flood and storm relief efforts.

Rising floodwaters forced residents out of their homes in Coffeyville.  Mandatory evacuations were ordered for residents who live in flood-prone areas of the southern Kansas town.  Water levels on the Verdigris [[ ver-da-gree ]] River had risen to 24 feet yesterday, and levels are expected to rise another two feet by today.

High water is causing issues at multiple Kansas lakes. Many reservoirs have flooded campgrounds, overtopped roads, and closed boat ramps and beaches. Among them, multiple areas of Kanopolis Lake, including all boat ramps and Kanopolis State Park are closed. For safety concerns, all traffic is prohibited from entering the park.  The River Pond and Rocky Ford Areas of Tuttle Creek State Park are closed. At Milford Lake some campgrounds and all beaches are closed.

Two people are safe after being rescued from the Little Arkansas River near Valley Center.  Two men were canoeing down the river near the 300-block of West Ness Street yesterday afternoon when their canoe overturned.  One victim swam to a sand dune, the other got stuck in the water, but crews were able to bring both men to safety.

The all volunteer Civil Air Patrol is continuing its support is aiding with disaster response in Kansas. Kansas Wing volunteers continue to provide coordination support to the State Emergency Operations Center, in addition to aerial photography and ground support. To date, CAP has conducted six aerial photography missions to provide imagery of river flooding and critical infrastructure, sandbagging support in central Kansas, and equipment transportation across Kansas.

Officials caution people living in or near high-water areas to not be surprised if they see more wildlife than usual. According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, animals living near flooding bodies of water or in low-lying areas will be forced to temporarily move to other locations to survive. They could congregate on high-ground “islands,” in residential or commercial areas or around outbuildings. Residents may even find small animals in homes or outbuildings if they’re not well-sealed. Animals such as rabbits, rodents, lizards, snakes, turtles, insects, certain birds or even larger animals such as coyotes and deer may be on the move.

Zoos in Kansas are receiving tiger and lion pelts that federal agents seized from wildlife traffickers. According to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister, his office donated the pelts to the Topeka Zoo and the Sedgwick County Zoo. The pelts were seized by agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who were enforcing federal laws aimed at protecting endangered animals and disrupting the global black market for hides and other parts of protected wildlife.

A Junction City Police Officer has been  arrested in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident. According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, On Monday agents arrested Junction City Police Lieutenant Jason Waryan. The Junction City Police Department contacted the KBI at approximately 1 p.m. on Monday to request an investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident. The incident occurred in the early hours of the morning between on-duty Lieutenant Jason Waryan, 39 and his live-in girlfriend, Krysteen Harbert, 27. The incident occurred on the 700 block of McClure St in Junction City. Waryan was arrested for domestic battery and criminal restraint. Harbert was arrested for domestic battery.

A man is dead following an officer-involved shooting in Wichita.  Police were called after the 49-year-old suspect was seen shooting a gun outside his home.  The suspect was shot and killed after allegedly pointing his gun at police and sheriff’s deputies.  No one else was hurt during the incident.

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