Archive for Thursday, May 17, 2007

Council OKs Greensburg tornado aid

May 17, 2007

If the city of Greensburg needs it, Eudora is ready to help.

The Eudora City Council unanimously agreed Monday to offer aid to the storm-ravaged town.

A May 4 tornado wiped out almost 95 percent of Greensburg. Since then emergency management teams have been working to clean up the city.

Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty asked the council to allow the use of city personnel and equipment to help the rebuilding effort.

"If you send a team, then you are sending them as a donation for their regular salary," Beatty said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency would reimburse the city for overtime charges and for equipment, Beatty said.

"That's not the point, really, here. The point here is we have a city that was 95-percent destroyed and they made a pledge that they want to rebuild it," Beatty said.

Anything the city departments could spare, from a truck or a crew could help, Beatty said.

"It's going to be a long process," Beatty said. "They don't need help immediately. They need help six months from now. They need help a year from now," Beatty said.

Although Greensburg needs some immediate aid, Eudora's city donations may not be called in immediately in the

rebuilding process, Beatty said.

"Right now they don't want anyone to come because they are still in the planning stages," Beatty said.

After the city agrees to what it could offer, Beatty would present that list to FEMA. The agency would in turn send a request for the equipment as needed.

Beatty also volunteered time to help Greensburg's city administrator if need be, she said.

"I always make sure Eudora is taken care of first before I go out," Beatty said. "I know I have the responsibility to Eudora first as a city administrator."

It would be up to the individual employees to decide if they want to serve or not.

"It's entirely volunteer," electrical superintendent Eldon Brown said.

When polled to see how they could help, the department heads each offered something.

Beatty said she would be willing to go as soon as she finishes budget work for the city.

City Superintendent Delbert Breithaupt and Brown both said they would be willing to spare people for the effort.

Eudora City Fire Chief Randy Ates said his department would definitely be willing to pitch in.

"I have firefighters foaming at the mouth to help," Ates said.

In addition to allowing personnel and equipment to go to Greensburg, the council donated old water meters to the city.

City workers placed the meters in storage after Eudora switched to a new system.

"You can't salvage them and very few people want them," Beatty said.

During discussion, the proposal gained unanimous support.

"I think it's a good call myself," Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle said.

He said he hoped people would support Eudora in the same way if a tragedy struck.

"Whatever you do comes back at you in the end," Councilmember Fred Stewart said.

In 2005, the city sent two firefighters through FEMA to help rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.