November 28, 2014

Gov. Heineman makes formal request for federal disaster assistance

Governor Heineman has made a formal request for federal disaster aid to help in the recovery of the odd early October mixture of blizzard, tornadoes and flash floods.

The request asks that President Barack Obama declare Nebraska suffered a disaster under terms used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency from October 2nd to the 6th.

“These storms caused millions of dollars in damage in both public infrastructure and losses to the private sector,” Gov. Heineman said in a written statement released by his office. “Approval of this disaster request would significantly help Nebraskans in their recovery process.”

A preliminary estimate made by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency projected public infrastructure losses to exceed $3 million. The storms damaged roads and bridges, the electricity grid, as well as extensive tree damage in the Panhandle.

The disaster declaration asks for public assistance to help local, state, and tribal governments, as well as some non-profit organizations recover from storms in nine Nebraska counties: Adams, Dawes, Dixon, Howard, Sheridan, Sherman, Sioux, Thurston and Wayne.

The request also includes a Hazard Mitigation request for the entire state.

“Recovery will be a long-term process for these counties because of the severity of the damage. NEMA will work closely with local governments to help speed up the recovery process.” NEMA Assistant Director Al Berndt said in a statement released by the governor’s office.

The request first goes to the FEMA office in Kansas City before it is forwarded to the White House.