On June 25th, heavy rains caused flooding in northeast Nebraska, including Dakota, Thurston, and Wayne counties. First responder and volunteer response to the flooding was incredibly impressive; the community clearly came out in force to protect areas by filling sandbags and cleaning up debris around their towns. Thank you to all who gave their time and assistance, especially Dakota County Emergency Manager Deanna Hagberg, Thurston County Emergency Manager Tom Perez, and Wayne County Emergency Manager Nicholas Kemnitz for working with local, state, and federal entities to serve our community. It was appreciated and surely did not go unnoticed.
I have been in constant contact with Dakota County, Thurston County, and Wayne County emergency officials as well as Governor Ricketts’ office since the flooding occurred. On June 26th, Governor Ricketts surveyed the flood damage and proceeded to sign a disaster declaration allowing state funds from the Governor’s Emergency Fund to aid the response to flooding and damage reports from across the state. As of July 8th, Wayne, Thurston, and Dakota counties made disaster declarations and Dakota City and South Sioux City made municipal disaster declarations. It is expected that Pender will make a formal declaration in the near future. Most of the reported damage includes damage to roads, bridges, culverts, and some water treatment facilities. In the upcoming week of July 9th, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) plans to continue to surveying and assessing damage in the 14 affected counties.
It is important that all public entities and individuals report damages and documented costs to NEMA. Individuals should contact their local emergency management officials to report and address any concerns or damages. Individuals should also contact their insurance company to report damage. There is generally a 30-day reporting deadline to report damages to emergency management officials and insurance companies.
Dakota County Emergency Manager: Deanna Hagberg – 402-987-2106
Thurston County Emergency Manager: Tom Perez – 402-385-6070
Wayne County Emergency Manager: Nicholas Kemnitz – 402-833-5190
In order to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance, disaster damage cost must meet a $2.7 million threshold. Currently, it does not appear that the cost threshold has been met, but preliminary assessments are still ongoing. Additionally, Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Brasch has reached out to the USDA to explore other funding options for disaster relief.
To keep up to date on road closings, visit the Nebraska Department of Transportation’s traveler information website at http://www.511.nebraska.gov/ or follow NDOT on Twitter @Nebraska511. Anyone who becomes involved in an emergency situation due to the flooding should call 9-1-1 immediately for assistance.
Information on NEMA, disaster relief, and other resources can be found at https://nema.nebraska.gov/ or 402-471-7421.
I want to encourage my constituents to reach out to me, I look forward to hearing from you!