Governor declares disaster after severe windstorm in July

LINCOLN – Gov. Pete Ricketts issued a disaster declaration Saturday in response to severe windstorms July 9-10 that knocked out electricity and caused severe damage in portions of eastern Nebraska.

The governor’s office press release said damage assessments are still underway.

During the height the storm, the Omaha Public Power District reported 182,000 customers without electrical service.  OPPD reported power restored to all customers seven days later.

There were 228 power outages in Richardson County, 1,850 in Cass County, 90 in Nemaha County and 41 in Otoe County.

The National Weather Service said the winds were as powerful  as any straight-line winds that have struck Nebraska. They were compared to an EF-1 tornado or category 2 hurricane.

 The governor’s declaration allows for use of Nebraska emergency funds and a federal disaster declaration.

Emergency Management Assistant Director Bryan Tuma said emergency funds are being sought for public entities for damages to utilities and infrastructure.

Tuma: “On this event, Nebraska would qualify for the FEMA Public Assistance program but not the FEMA Individual Assistance program.

 

 Individual assistance is based on extreme impact such as widespread loss of housing for individuals and families, loss of employment, loss of services across multiple sectors which results in extreme hardship, etc.

 This event, while significant, does not meet those thresholds.”  

 

Photo courtesy of OPPD

If a person or family needs help replacing spoiled food, removing tree limbs, cleaning up property damage, or has any other unmet needs, they are advised to contact:

United Way’s 211 system — Call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898211.

Nebraska Rural Response HOTLINE — 1-800-464-0258 which offers the same services.

Insurance Provider — Many insurance policies include incidentals such as food spoilage, debris management, etc.

County Emergency Management Directors are compiling damage reports and may be aware of additional resources in their local communities to assist individuals or families in need.  Contact information for County Emergency Management Directors is available on the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency website: https://nema.nebraska.gov/overview/county-emergency-management-directorscoordinators.

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