Ricketts says the official declaration will help overwhelmed communities cope with the cost of clean-up.
“So that we could then take the next step as far as accessing any federal dollars that might be available that we would qualify for to be able to help with our communities get back on their feet,” Ricketts tells reporters during a news conference.
Ricketts says the official proclamation will trigger help from the state and, possibly, from the federal government to reimburse communities for some of the cost of their response.
“What we’ll do with this disaster proclamation is pull together all the damage assessments from across the state, starting with the June 12th storms and running through June 16th, and be able to pull that altogether into one package that we give to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to be able to get some of those reimbursement dollars,” according to Ricketts.
On June 12th, a tornado touched down in the Panhandle, near Bayard. Storms on Friday spawned six tornadoes which did considerable damage along a path from northeastern to eastern Nebraska.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency is gathering data on storm damage for an application for federal assistance.
NEMA says the storms impacted more than 30 counties.
After the tornado struck Bayard on the 12th, tornadoes on the 16th touched down near Meadow Grove, Madison, Hoskins, Lincoln, Bellevue, and Offutt Air Force Base.