Governor requests disaster declaration
June 17th, 2011
Omaha, NE – Governor Dave Heineman is requesting federal assistance for Nebraska counties affected by the Missouri flooding. Heineman made the announcement Friday, as he toured the flooding river near Eppley Airfield in Omaha.
Overlooking the river, surrounded by sandbags and construction crews, Governor Dave Heineman questioned emergency management officials as they led him on a tour over the cityâ€™s northern levee. Heineman was joined by Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and Congressman Lee Terry, who lauded the cityâ€™s efforts to hold back the water.
â€œWeâ€™re way beyond just hoping nothing happens,â€ Terry said. â€œI donâ€™t think anything will, but the reality is if it does, itâ€™s going to be handled so quickly and easily, because theyâ€™re in place and ready to go, and thatâ€™s whatâ€™s impressive.â€
The city of Omaha has already spent over a million dollars containing the flooding waters. Heineman said the full cost, to the city and the state, is far from realized.
â€œThis is going to be an ongoing situation,â€ he said. â€œAs Iâ€™ve stated before, this is not like maybe a tornado or hurricane that occurs for a few days, you make the assessment, you submit the damage request. This is going to go on for months.â€
Heineman said heâ€™ll be making the request for a federal disaster declaration next week. If approved, it will free up federal funds to help the state hold back the rising water, and start to recover from the damage.
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