Mother’s Day Storm Gets Presidential Declaration

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Lincoln, Neb. Gov. Dave Heineman and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency were notified Tuesday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that President Barack Obama has approved a request for a presidential disaster declaration for federal disaster aid for the parts of Nebraska impacted by a series of strong storm systems, including tornadoes, that moved across the southeastern portion of the state on May 11.

The storm produced widespread damage from high winds, tornadoes and heavy rain in Clay, Fillmore, Saline, Saunders, Seward and York counties. The system caused extensive damage to public infrastructure, homes and business in the affected areas.

“Nebraskans appreciate approval of public assistance funding for the Mother’s Day storm,” said Gov. Heineman. “This will assist in the recovery process following storms that caused millions of dollars in damage in the state.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations, on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work, and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the storm.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and tribes within the state.

Christian Mark Van Alstyne has been named as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Alstyne said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

“This will help our local communities recover some of the costs associated with responding to the emergency situations and rebuilding public infrastructure damaged by this disaster,” said Al Berndt, assistant director of Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. “NEMA will work closely with local governments to help speed up the recovery process.”
Damage is expected to exceed $20 million from the storm, which hit the municipalities of Beaver Crossing, Cordova and Sutton hardest,

NEMA will coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine the full scope and impact of the damages from the storm.