More about Nebraska flooding

March 26, 2019

This past week has seen floodwaters receding. The strength of the Nebraskan citizens and the first responders who helped with the evacuation, rescue operations, and relief centers have been incredible. As we move into the recovery phase, I would please ask for everyone to be aware of the need for safety as roads or structures may not be entirely safe or secure. The outpouring of support from people all over Nebraska has been overwhelming and I encourage continued action through donations or volunteering as we move forward together

Recently, President Trump approved a federal disaster declaration. The disaster declaration specifies two designations for Nebraska. First, “individual federal aid” will be made available to the residents in nine counties across Nebraska, which includes Butler, Colfax and Saunders counties. “Individual aid” will be directed towards individual residents who suffered losses during the flooding. This aid will come in the form of grants, financial assistance, and low cost loans. The grants include funding to provide temporary housing reimbursement for hotels and motels, funding to find a temporary rental house, house repairs, and financial assistance to replace homes destroyed in the flooding.

For housing repairs, FEMA will provide financial assistance to repair or replace structural components such as walls or foundation, HVAC, access and egress to homes which includes funding to repair privately owned roads and bridges. It also will fund repairs to electric, gas, water systems, and provide low cost loans for those who suffered losses on uninsured property.

There are also several other programs for business owners who have suffered damages and losses. Currently, FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams are assisting in counties designated as federal disaster areas to assist residents in registering and identify immediate needs. These DSAT members can be identified by their FEMA ID and clothing.

The second designation is a more general public designation which will provide federal funding on a cost sharing basis for state, tribal, and eligible local governments for a much larger area of the state. This funding will be used for the removal of debris, repairing of infrastructure and other emergency measures.

The state has also set up a new website for assistance on www.nebraska.gov/nebraska-strong. On the site, you can request or donate funding or resources to your area. Please do not hesitate to take full advantage of this site. Additionally, if you or your business has been affected and are in need of assistance, apply by going to www.disasterassistance.gov, call 1-800-621-3362, or text 1-800-462-7585.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the emergency managers, first responders, and volunteers for their continued generous work throughout our communities.

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.