Counties May Be Disaster Areas

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There is a strong case for Nebraska counties hit by tornados to be declared disaster areas.

That is the word from the regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA official Dick Hainje toured Hallam and the surrounding area by air with Gov. Mike Johanns and Senator Chuck Hagel. They also walked through the devastated village of Hallam.

Hainje says he does not know when the governor's request for a presidential disaster will be acted upon. But he says the state has a good case for the designation to be made.

Doing that would make loans available to people and businesses affected by storms.

Johanns has requested that 10 Nebraska counties be declared federal disasters.