TOPEKA (KSNT) — Following severe weather across the state, including several confirmed tornadoes causing damage, Governor Laura Kelly declared a State of Disaster Emergency.

This declaration went into effect at 8:57 p.m. on Friday. It uses the disaster response and recovery portions of the Kansas Response Plan which allow state resources to be used in local areas impacted.

“We have learned from past experience that we can’t wait for the storm to hit before we respond,” Gov. Kelly said. “By taking these steps early we are able to more quickly react when the counties ask for assistance.”

The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka is in “Level 2” — Enhanced Steady State status. Affected counties are still assessing damages.