OMAHA, Neb. --
On Aug. 20, President Clinton signed a major disaster declaration for three Nebraska counties -- Burt, Douglas and Washington - following severe storms and flooding that struck the area August 6-9. Charles Biggs, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) regional office in Kansas City, MO, is federal coordinating officer for the relief effort. The state coordinating officer is Fran Laden. A Disaster Field Office was established in downtown Omaha to coordinate state/federal recovery efforts.
DISASTER ASSISTANCE STATISTICS:
Provided thus far to Nebraska storm victims
Applied for assistance through Teleregistration
- 3,020 residents in three counties
Disaster housing grants for both temporary rental assistance and minimal repair
- $1.28 million to 1,282 eligible residents
U.S. Small Business Administration loans OK'd
- 92 loans totaling $813,200
FEMA-state-local government reimbursement for Infrastructure repairs
State-administered Individual and Family Grants
- $141,532 approved for 135 residents
Visits by residents to Disaster Recovery Centers
Total value of state-federal assistance programs
- $3.2 million
- The Helpline telephone number 1-800-525-0321 (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 is FEMA's "answer line," where questions about the status of their applications may be answered and referrals made to appropriate agencies. Calls can be taken from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday
- The toll-free registration number - 1-800-462-9029 - is used only for that purpose. The (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 number is used by those with hearing and speech impairments for registration and/or the Helpline. Same hours of operation as Helpline
- Registration deadline reminder: Residents of Burt, Douglas and Washington counties who suffered damages in the Aug. 6-9 storm and still have not registered for assistance should be aware that Teleregistration lines will continue to operate through 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18. The only number to call is 1-800-462-9029 (TTY) 1-800-462-7585
- The Disaster Recovery Center which opened Aug. 30 in the Florence Community Center is scheduled to close Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m. The center is staffed with representatives of federal, state and voluntary agencies and is providing information and answers to questions about disaster assistance available to residents of Burt, Douglas and Washington counties
On Wednesday, Sept. 15, after the Recovery Center closes, the U.S. Small Business Administration will remain and operate a workshop in the hallway outside the gymnasium in the Florence Community Center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. SBA will also continue to accept applications until the Oct. 18 deadline.
- Nebraska residents should take heed of the Metropolitan Area Transit's (MAT) recent experience in which its Cuming St. facility suffered $4.5 million in flood damages. Seems that MAT has made it a practice to purchase flood insurance for many years. The result is taxpayers are spared having to absorb the huge cleanup and repair bill
Federal Coordinating Office Charles Biggs puts it this way: "There were many lessons learned from this episode. Anyone can be flooded. For example, floods can be caused by storms and water backup due to overloaded drainage systems."
Even if residents live in a high flood risk area, Biggs stated, they can buy flood insurance as long as their community participates...