$48 million approved for Nebraskans after March flooding
LINCOLN, Neb. — One month after the March 21 major disaster declaration for Nebraska flooding, more than $48 million in federal funding has been approved for Nebraskans affected by the disaster.
The state of Nebraska, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, other federal agencies, the private sector and nonprofit and faith-based organizations continue to support local recovery efforts.
As of April 21:
• FEMA has approved $19.2 million in Individual Assistance for households, including rental assistance, repair assistance and assistance for other disaster-related needs.
• The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $15.1 million in low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters.
• The National Flood Insurance Program has approved $14.1 million in flood claims.
“We know many Nebraskans have suffered tremendous losses to their homes, businesses, farms and ranches,” said Nebraska’s State Coordinating Officer Earl Imler. “We are working urgently to help households and communities recover from this historic disaster. It’s going to be a long process and we will be on the job until it’s complete.”
“The coordination among the state of Nebraska, FEMA and our federal partners has been seamless,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Constance Johnson-Cage. “This allows the recovery operation to move forward as quickly and smoothly as possible.”
More than 5,000 households have applied for FEMA assistance. More than 4,200 home inspections have been completed in the 27 counties and the Santee Sioux Nation that are designated for Individual Assistance. FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are canvassing affected neighborhoods and have visited 14,360 homes.
Disaster Recovery Centers are providing one-on-one help for survivors. Recovery specialists from FEMA and SBA provide information on available services, explain assistance programs and help survivors complete or check the status of their applications.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted aerial operations to assess impacts in 65 counties and assisted in the recovery of 628 animal carcasses. The Food and Nutrition Service, in collaboration with the state, has provided food benefits to more than 7,500 low-income households affected by the flooding. USDA also activated several programs to help agricultural interests recover from the disaster.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted debris surveys in many communities and participated in an interagency Joint Nebraska/Iowa Flood Mitigation Task Force.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided technical support and conducted aerial and land-based reconnaissance of flooded areas along the Missouri, Niobrara, Elkhorn, Platte and Loup rivers. EPA also established contracts and a scope of work for recovery and disposal of oil/hazmat orphan containers and household hazardous waste.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided foreclosure relief, loan modifications, mortgage insurance and other forms of assistance to people affected by the disaster.
More than 6,300 Nebraskans were provided emergency shelter by the American Red Cross. More than 154,000 meals were served by American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Operation BBQ.
Recovery activities continue at an urgent pace. The state of Nebraska is leading a Housing Task Force in partnership with FEMA and other agencies to address housing shortages and unmet needs in Nebraska communities affected by flooding. The state is conducting applicant briefings for public entities applying for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. FEMA continues to process applications for Individual Assistance. Communities are removing debris from the flood. The state and FEMA are planning hazard mitigation actions that will reduce the potential for damage from future storms. ❖
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.