President Joe Biden has granted Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts’ request for a federal disaster declaration related to the severe windstorms that struck the state July 9-10 and downed powerlines, broke tree limbs, and caused widespread outages.
The federal disaster declaration authorizes public assistance through FEMA for 14 counties including Box Butte and Sheridan.
Communities are eligible to apply for assistance for “emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.”
Private property damages from the windstorm did not meet the threshold to trigger a request for individual assistance from FEMA.
The Governor’s letter requesting the declaration outlined the damages to the state’s electrical grid from the hail and wind, which resulted in some 200,000 electric customers – 37% of the state total – losing power.
The federal disaster declaration also makes funds available across the state through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to help share the costs of public projects that decrease the risk of future damages from natural disasters.
All 5 members of Nebraska’s congressional delegation wrote President Biden supporting the governor’s request.