New flooding damage numbers released as part of FEMA request report

Published: Mar. 19, 2019 at 5:51 PM CDT
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New flooding damage numbers have been released by the governor's office, showing the state of Nebraska has suffered $439 million in damages to public infrastructure.

"We certainly get the urgency," said Mike Cappannari, External Affairs Director, FEMA Region VII. "That's one of the reasons we've been here since last Wednesday assisting the state as they work through their response. We're doing everything we can to get this turned around, ultimately to the White House for a determination."

The damage to the infrastructure includes water and waste water treatment facilities, roads and bridges, public buildings, debris removal, and utility systems.

"Those dollars that go to local government and county government," said Cappannari. "That would reimburse for damages that are eligible. That would be public infrastructure like roads and bridges. It could also be emergency protective measures like sandbagging."

$85 million in damages has been caused to private homes and businesses, according to the Governor’s office, and 2,067 homes and 341 businesses have been destroyed or damaged.

"Those are dollars that would go to individuals," said Cappannari. "Directly to individuals if they are deemed eligible."

The report also outlines an estimated $400 million loss to cow and calf operations, along with an additional $1 million a day because of increased transportation costs. The feed loss has totaled $36 million and the crop/planting loss is estimated to be about $440 million.

Other notes from an 8-page report from the Governor’s office written as part of a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) include multiple communities being without drinking water.

Boyd County hasn’t had drinking water for over a day, the report states, and drinking water issues exist in at least five counties, with more anticipated.

Sarpy County has reported $100,000 in damages to their waste water treatment facility.

Evacuations have taken place in 20 counties and several communities still have no access in or out, the report states.

In addition, several critical levees have either overtopped, are expected to, or have been destroyed along the Elkhorn, Niobrara, Loup, Platte and Missouri Rivers.

The report also mentions the city of Lincoln and its mandatory water restriction.

Lancaster County is mentioned as a county in need of Public Assistance.