President Trump approves disaster declaration for Nebraska after severe winter weather, flooding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared a major disaster Thursday for the state of Nebraska resulting from severe winter weather and massive flooding.

The declaration opens the door to federal aid to help state, tribal and local recovery efforts.

Gov. Pete Ricketts requested the assistance earlier this week. Ricketts and the state’s entire congressional delegation had asked Trump to expedite the declaration.

“Thank you to President Trump for his quick approval of Nebraska’s request,” Ricketts said Thursday in a statement. “Nebraskans have already been stepping up to begin the journey to recovering from the most widespread natural disaster in our state’s history. As we rebuild together, federal assistance is a key part of ensuring that we keep Nebraska strong and growing.”

A White House press release said the declaration will make federal funding available to individuals affected by the storm in the following counties: Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington.

That can include grants for “temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.”

Federal funding also is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

And more funding is available for emergency work in dozens of other counties, as well as for the Santee Sioux Nation, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Sac and Fox and Winnebago Tribe.

Additional areas could be designated for assistance after ongoing damage assessments are completed.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance Thursday by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

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