(Lincoln, NE) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials have suspended daily flights of hurricane evacuees to other states until further notice. Gov. Dave Heineman and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have notified Nebraska’s public and private disaster response agencies.
“I want to thank the volunteers and employees who responded to meet survivors’ needs,” Gov. Heineman said. “Everyone involved with this response effort performed admirably, which reflects well on Nebraska’s ability to respond in times of crisis.”
FEMA officials suspended flights because too few evacuees sought relocation to justify continuing the state-by-state rotation. Those still seeking relocation are being taken to other communities in Louisiana or to temporary shelters in neighboring states.
FEMA has also asked states to cease all unused shelter preparations. Federal, state and local officials, along with private relief agencies, are focusing on registering evacuees for federal storm assistance and helping survivors into transitional or longer-term housing.
Nebraska has received 166 evacuees as part of the FEMA relocation program, all of whom have since been moved from the Omaha Civic Auditorium into transitional housing, including the homes of relatives, area hotels and other available housing. A Lincoln shelter at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church is being returned to its original use.
State, local and private relief agencies continue to work with storm evacuees and are now preparing to assist those being relocated by Nebraska’s faith-based communities.