Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Published February 26, 2010, 10:58 AM

Nebraska to get federal help for storm recovery

WASHINGTON — After incurring an estimated $8 million in expenses stemming from snowstorms that crippled much of the state in late December and early January, Nebraska officials received word Thursday that the federal government will assist the recovery.

By: Associated Press,

WASHINGTON — After incurring an estimated $8 million in expenses stemming from snowstorms that crippled much of the state in late December and early January, Nebraska officials received word Thursday that the federal government will assist the recovery.

President Barack Obama has signed disaster declarations in Nebraska and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. The disaster covers the period from Dec. 22 through Jan. 8.

Blizzards and snowstorms pummeled Nebraska then, dumping record snowfall in several communities and contributing to at least 14 deaths. Most roads in eastern Nebraska were impassable for days, and at least two trains were stranded by drifting snow.

In a letter sent to Obama last month, Gov. Dave Heineman requested the help. The letter described dairy farmers forced to dump tens of thousands of gallons of milk that couldn’t be shipped and the rescue of more than 200 Amtrak passengers from a train stalled by 12-foot-high drifts.

Damage assessments by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and its federal counterpart put storm costs at more than $8 million. That does not include the full cost of snow removal.

The declaration applies in Adams, Antelope, Brown, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cherry, Clay, Da-kota, Dodge, Douglas, Gage, Garfield, Hamilton, Jefferson, Johnson, Keya Paha, Lancaster, Madison, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Rock, Saline, Saunders, Seward, Stanton, Thayer, Thurston, Washington, Wheeler and York counties.

Josh deBerge, a FEMA spokesman based in Kansas City, Mo., said no dollar amount is tied to the assistance, but the declaration opens the door for the state and eligible local governments to request assistance for specific costs.

Tags: