Nebraska to Request Assistance from U.S. Small Business Administration for Severe Storm Damage Aid

Governor Dave Heineman submitted a request on Tuesday for disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help Nebraskans in five northeast Nebraska counties who were impacted by the June 14-21 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding.

The counties included in the request are: Cedar, Cuming, Dixon, Stanton and Wayne.

This action comes after the decision announced Monday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that Individual Assistance for those counties did not warrant federal disaster assistance. A review of all available information, including the results of joint local, state and federal preliminary damage assessments led to this decision.

Level of insurance coverage is one factor that is considered, particularly because federal disaster assistance cannot duplicate insurance proceeds or assistance from other sources.

If granted, an SBA disaster declaration would make low-interest loans available to qualified individuals and businesses to help pay long-term recovery costs.

However, the state did receive its third federal disaster declaration in the last six weeks to help local and state governments pay eligible disaster costs associated with June storms, tornadoes, straight-winds and flooding that hit various parts of the state. The 12 counties eligible under the latest declaration were impacted by storms June 1-4 and include: Burt, Butler, Cass, Hamilton, Holt, Nemaha, Pawnee, Polk, Rock, Thurston, Valley and Washington counties.

“We appreciate the continued assistance from FEMA and the federal government to help our local and state entities deal with the public damage we’ve seen from the repetitive storms earlier this summer,” said Bryan Tuma, assistant director of Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. “Now, we will focus on trying to secure SBA assistance for individuals and businesses who are also recovering from these storms and may still have unmet needs.”

The Public Assistance program helps pay certain costs to remove storm debris, take emergency protective measures and repair or replace disaster-damaged roads, bridges, public buildings, critical facilities, such as water, sewer and power systems and other public facilities.

Federal funding is also available statewide on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures that will help reduce or prevent the impacts of future disasters.