Gov. Heineman Requests Federal Aid Assessment of Central Nebraska
(Lincoln, NE) Gov. Dave Heineman today requested help from federal officials to assess the damage left throughout central Nebraska in the wake of Wednesday’s storms.
The Governor signed a request for a joint assessment with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to tour the affected areas next week. Those already affected include parts of Adams, Buffalo, Hall, Hamilton, Merrick, Seward, York and Fillmore counties.
The request is another formal step toward fully assessing the storm damage and making decisions on whether state or federal aid can be successfully pursued.
“I have requested this joint assessment by FEMA officials to make sure we have a solid grasp on the public and individual costs of these storms,” Gov. Heineman said. “Nebraskans are hard at work to clean up the damage, but we want to do all we can to make sure that our friends, neighbors and communities can rebuild.”
Gov. Heineman already has declared a state of emergency in Hall and Adams counties. Declarations of additional counties as disasters will be determined as damage reports arrive. No estimate on the statewide costs was available Friday evening, and reports of rural crop damage could take weeks to compile.
At a late-afternoon news conference in Lincoln updating the storm damage, the Governor offered the following breakdown of preliminary reports:
The American Red Cross is placing people in Hall County who need assistance in area motels.
Red Cross staffers are performing damage assessments throughout the region.
The Red Cross is moving its mobile feeding vehicle based in Lincoln to Grand
Island so there will be two in the region.
The state has received reports from local officials that 137 homes were affected by the storms in the northwest section of Grand Island.
The state coordinated and assisted Grand Island in obtaining 24,000 sandbags from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to use as needed.
The Hall County Emergency Operations Center has received calls from rural residents isolated in their homes by floodwaters, and officials are responding.
Emergency managers in Adams County had reported 64 damaged homes excluding Hastings, and 11 county roads were still submerged. They also were addressing damage to four bridges.
In Hastings, most of the damage was done by hail and much will be covered by insurance, but roughly 500 homes were affected, 600 to 700 vehicles, as well as 30 businesses.
Hastings College had 60 percent of its windows and skylights broken and three local schools have had more than half of their windows broken and sustained minor water damage.
The residents of a damaged assisted-living home in Hastings are currently living on an unused floor at the Hastings Regional Center as temporary shelter.