North Carolina emergency managers assist Kansas after floods and tornadoes

Raleigh

Six North Carolina emergency managers deployed to Kansas recently, to work at the state emergency operations center and to help Kansas counties responding to floods and tornadoes.  

Kansas requested assistance through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the same agreement that allowed more than 1,100 emergency personnel from other states to help North Carolina after Hurricane Florence last year.

Thirty-three Kansas counties have received federal disaster declarations and more than sixty have been affected by flooding.  The state emergency operations center remains activated after nearly three weeks.

The team responding from North Carolina included a local emergency manager from Moore County and six state employees from North Carolina Emergency Management.  

NCEM logistics specialist Greg Weavil supported the Kansas State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka, helping to coordinate incoming personnel arriving from more than a dozen other states.

Scot Brooks, emergency management coordinator from Moore County, North Carolina, supported Pottawatomie County, Kansas which has been experiencing extensive flooding along the Kansas River and Tuttle Creek Reservoir since April 10.  Brooks was assigned there for a week to handle logistics along with another emergency manager from Delaware who handled planning. 

“They needed help with staffing because they had been running constantly for so long,” said Brooks. “When we came in, they were able to give some of their people a few days off to get some rest.”

Area Coordinator Brian Parnell, who typically supports counties in northeastern North Carolina, has returned home after assisting Riley County, Kansas - located on the opposite side of Tuttle Creek Reservoir.

“The day I arrived, Tuttle Creek crested and the water level started falling, That was a big relief to everyone there,” Parnell said.  “They had been watching it closely for days and were well prepared to act if the reservoir breached.”

NC Emergency Management area coordinators Melissa Greene and David Leonard have been assigned to the Wabaunsee County, Kansas emergency operations center where they are coordinating conference calls and briefings, preparing reimbursement documentation, response plans, situation reports and demobilizing resources.

Eric Wiseman, an area coordinator for Mecklenburg and neighboring North Carolina counties supported county operations in Jefferson County, Kansas before being reassigned to the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka.  From there he has been assisting multiple Kansas counties with response efforts.

“We are glad to be able to help another state in their time of need,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “We received plenty of help from other states after Hurricane Florence and it’s great to be able to pay some of that back.”

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