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Kiowa County added to state disaster declaration for June severe weather

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Colorado Governor Jared Polis Friday issued an executive order which adds five counties, including Kiowa County, to a disaster declaration issued in July for a series of storms that caused damage across eastern Colorado during 17 days in June.

Also included in Friday’s order are Baca, Jefferson, Prowers, and Teller counties. July’s order included Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, and Washington counties.

Storms in June caused flooding, along with wind damage, and also spawned more than 40 tornadoes, including tornadoes in Douglas and Prowers counties rated EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. 

The order notes that Kiowa County experienced damage to its electrical infrastructure from high winds. Tornadoes in Baca and Prowers counties destroyed homes as well as causing damage to electrical infrastructure.

Other damage, occurring in various locations across the named counties, included road washouts, sinkholes, downed trees, and debris flows. Up to $50 million in combined damages have been identified.

August 25, President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration for Colorado under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The declaration covers Logan, Washington, Arapahoe, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson, and Cheyenne counties.

State and federal agencies will coordinate their recovery efforts.

The order directs state agencies to pursue any available funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, and others for recovery.