The state Congressional delegation has written President Barack Obama, asking the president to act swiftly on the state request for a presidential disaster declaration in wake of the Pilger tornado.
A slew of storms hit not only Pilger, but a number of communities in Cedar, Cuming, Dixon, Stanton, and Wayne Counties.
Sen. Mike Johanns says Nebraskans need help to fully recover from the June storms.
“Nebraskans have come to the aid of their neighbors following the devastating storms, but recovery of this magnitude is going to take time and it’s going to take some resources,” according to Johanns.
Gov. Dave Heineman has sent Washington a formal request for assistance. In the request, the governor asks for individual assistance for the counties of Cedar, Cuming, Dixon, Stanton, and Wayne. He requests public assistance for those counties as well as the counties of Dakota, Franklin, Furnas, Harlan, Kearney, Phelps, and Thurston.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency estimates damage from the storms at approximately $13.2 million.
A presidential disaster declaration would make federal assistance available to those affected.
Johanns hopes for quick approval.
“This declaration by the president could help the communities get back on their feet. So, we’ll do everything we can to expedite the process here back in Washington.
A copy of the letter can be found below:
July 15, 2014
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write in support of Governor Heineman’s request for a major disaster declaration for Nebraska’s Cedar, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Franklin, Furnas, Harlan, Kearney, Phelps, Stanton, Thurston, and Wayne counties, all of which experienced damaging severe weather between June 14, 2014 and June 21, 2014.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency estimates that expenses and damage from these storms total nearly $13.2 million. Tornadoes, high straight line winds, and flooding caused downed power lines and trees, road washouts, and damage to critical infrastructure. Tornados nearly wiped out an entire village and tragically took two lives. Homes and businesses were also significantly damaged, including agriculture operations, which suffered extensive losses.
Recovery from storms such as these requires a significant amount of time and resources. The state of Nebraska and non-profit organizations have partnered to meet the needs of residents and communities in the wake of the storms. There is an opportunity for the federal government to join with the state in these efforts. Nebraskans continue to show their strength as they work together to clean up, rebuild, and look toward the future. We ask that you give the Governor’s request sincere and prompt consideration.
Mike Johanns Deb Fischer
United States Senator United States Senator
Lee Terry Adrian Smith Jeff Fortenberry
Member of Congress Member of Congress Member of Congress