President Barack Obama has approved Nebraska’s request for a presidential disaster declaration to offset the cost of recovering from the bizarre early October storms that buried the western edge of Nebraska in snow, while hitting eastern Nebraska with tornadoes.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency notified Gov. Dave Heineman about the approval.
The president has issued a public assistance declaration to offset the cost of emergency work as well as repair and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities in the following counties: Adams, Dawes, Dixon, Howard, Sheridan, Sherman, Sioux, Thurston and Wayne counties.
The declaration also triggers federal funding, on a cost-sharing basis, to help counties offset the cost of responding to storms.
Federal emergency funds can be used to provide assistance to state and local governmental agencies and some nonprofit organizations.
“This will help our local communities recover some of the costs associated with responding to the emergency situations and rebuilding public infrastructure damaged by this disaster,” said Al Berndt, assistant director of Nebraska Emergency Management Agency in a written statement released by NEMA. “NEMA will work closely with local governments to help speed up the recovery process.”
NEMA gave a preliminary estimate of the damage to public infrastructure at $3 million. The storms damaged the electric grid as well as roads and bridges. Extensive tree damage was reported in the Panhandle.