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Disaster, Damage Numbers On the Rise in Kansas?

Menacing storm clouds gather above Kansas. (Photo by J. Schafer)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Officials are declaring more disasters in Kansas in recent years. But it's unclear whether severe weather is more common, because weather watchers are doing a better job of documenting some events, such as small tornadoes.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency showed 29 disasters were declared in Kansas from 2004 to 2013, the last year included. The rest of FEMA's history, from 1953 to 2003, showed 27 disasters in Kansas.  There also was an upward trend in weather-related damage, including from non-disaster events.  Kansas state climatologist Mary Knapp says a flood or tornado that wasn't a disaster in earlier decades might be one if the same thing happened today, if there are more homes and businesses in harm's way. 


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