DR-4616-NE Public Notice 001

Notice Date

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice to the public of its intent to reimburse eligible applicants within the State of Nebraska for eligible costs to repair and/or replace facilities damaged by severe storm and straight-line wind occurring on July 9 and 10, 2021. This notice applies to the Public Assistance (PA) and Hazard Mitigation Grant (HMGP) programs implemented under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5207.

Under a major disaster declaration (FEMA 4616–DR–NE) signed by the President on September 6, 2021, the following counties have been designated adversely affected by the disaster and eligible for Public Assistance: Box Butte, Cass, Clay, Douglas, Fillmore, Grant, Hall, Hamilton, Madison, Saunders, Sarpy, Sheridan, Washington, and York.

Additional counties may be designated at a later date. All counties in the State of Nebraska are eligible for HMGP.

This public notice concerns activities that may affect historic properties; traditional cultural properties; activities that are located in or affect wetland areas or the 100-year floodplain; and critical actions within the 500-year floodplain. Such activities may adversely affect the historic property, traditional cultural property, floodplain or wetland, or may result in continuing vulnerability to flood or other damage.

Presidential Executive Orders 11988 and 11990 require that all federal actions in or affecting the floodplain or wetlands be reviewed for opportunities to relocate, and evaluated for social, economic, historical, environmental, legal and safety considerations. Where there is no opportunity to relocate, FEMA is required to undertake a detailed review to determine what measures can be taken to minimize future damages. The public is invited to participate in the process of identifying alternatives and analyzing their impacts through this notification.

FEMA has determined that for certain types of facilities there are normally no alternatives to restoration in the floodplain/wetland. These are facilities that meet all the following criteria:

  1. FEMA’s estimate of the cost of repairs is less than 50-percent of the cost to replace the entire facility, and is less than $100,000;
  2. the facility is not located in a regulatory floodway;
  3. the facility has not sustained major structural damage in a previous presidentially declared flooding disaster or emergency;  and
  4. the facility is not defined as critical (e.g., the facility is not a hospital, generating plant, emergency operations center, or a facility that contains dangerous materials).

FEMA intends to provide assistance for the restoration of these facilities to their pre- disaster condition, except when certain measures to mitigate the effects of future flooding

or other hazards may be included in the work. For example, a bridge or culvert restoration may include a larger waterway opening to decrease the risk of future washouts.

For routine activities, this will be the only public notice provided. Other activities and those involving facilities that do not meet the four criteria are required to undergo more detailed review, including study of alternate locations. Subsequent public notices regarding such projects will be published if necessary, as more specific information becomes available.

In many cases, an applicant may have started facility restoration before federal involvement. Even if the facility must undergo detailed review and analysis of alternate locations, FEMA will fund eligible restoration at the original location if the facility is functionally dependent on its floodplain location (e.g., bridges and piers), or the project facilitates an open space use, or the facility is an integral part of a larger network that is impractical or uneconomical to relocate, such as a road. In such cases, FEMA must also examine the possible effects of not restoring the facility, minimize floodplain/wetland impacts, and determine both that an overriding public need for the facility clearly outweighs the Executive Order requirements to avoid the floodplain/wetland, and that the site is the only practicable alternative. State of Nebraska and local officials will confirm to FEMA that proposed actions comply with all applicable state and local floodplain management and wetland protection requirements.

FEMA also intends to provide HMGP funding to the State of Nebraska to mitigate future disaster damage. These projects may include construction of new facilities; modification of existing, undamaged facilities; relocation of facilities out of floodplains; demolition of structures; or other types of projects to mitigate future disaster damage. In the course of developing project proposals, subsequent public notices will be published if necessary, as more specific information becomes available.

The National Historic Preservation Act requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. Those actions or activities affecting buildings, structures, districts or objects 50 years or older, or that affect archeological sites or undisturbed ground will require further review to determine if the property is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (Register). If the property is determined to be eligible for the Register, and FEMA’s undertaking will adversely affect it, FEMA will provide additional public notices. For historic properties not adversely affected by FEMA’s undertaking, this will be the only public notice.

Information about assistance projects may be obtained by submitting a written request to the disaster’s Federal Coordinating Officer, Robert Haywood, DHS-FEMA Region VII; 11224 Holmes Road; Kansas City, MO 64131. The information may also be obtained by calling: (816) 283-7061, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. Comments should be sent in writing to the above address within 15 days of the date of publication of this Notice. Emailed correspondence may be sent to FEMARegion7info@fema.dhs.gov, with a subject of “4616-DR-NE comments.”

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