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Originally published: July 23, 2021

Ricketts declares state disaster two weeks after wind storm knocked out power to thousands

Just shy of two weeks after a massive windstorm hit the Omaha metro and surrounding areas, knocking out power to 188,000 people, Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts has issued a state disaster declaration.

The declaration opens up the state’s Emergency Fund to help pay for damage from the storm.

It’s a needed step in order for the state to start the process of requesting help from federal agencies and the White House.

While many people in Nebraska are facing large repairs, state officials warn any funds that come from this will be to fix utilities and infrastructure, not for individual people.

“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,” said Bryan Tuma, Nebraska’s Assistant Director of Emergency Management.

If a person or family needs help replacing spoiled food, removing tree limbs, cleaning up property damage, or other needs, they should 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.

Read the original article here.