(Neb)-Gov Issues Disaster Declaration, Visits Bayard
Gov Ricketts, Bayard Mayor Michelle Coolidge photo - KevinMooney/RRN/KNEB
BAYARD - Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts visited Bayard and Plattesmouth on Saturday afternoon to survey damage from storms this week and to thank responders and relief agencies for their work during and after the sustained severe weather pattern that impacted communities from border to border in Nebraska..
The governor has declared Bayard and Morrill County as disaster areas because of the tornadoes and thunderstorms that struck Monday, allowing the use of state resources for recovery efforts on public infrastructure.
He has also submitted a State Disaster Declaration request to federal officials covering both Monday's storms in the Panhandle and the storms that hit the eastern end of the state on Friday. Ricketts says a single request for the entire state will make it easier to meet the loss thresholds set by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Damage and loss assessments began almost immediately after the storms, but governor says those efforts are continuing to make sure nothing is missed. He got his own look at the impact of the storms in Bayard and Plattesmouth on Saturday, flying over both areas by helicopter.
Accompanied by Nebraska Emergency Management Agency Director Bryan Tuma, the governor met with representatives from local and state responders and relief agencies at both stops, thanking them for quick and efficient response to the disaster.
The disaster declaration for Morrill County and Bayard allows the use of state resources on requests by impacted communities for recovery help public infrastructure. The Nebraska Department of Roads is the only state asset requested and continues to clear debris all across Morrill County.
The state Department of Insurance is sending two representatives to Bayard this coming Wednesday and Thursday to assist victims of the storm with insurance questions they may have.
The Red Cross says it has offered shelter, food, and clothing in Morrill and Sioux Counties with local churches also providing food. The Red Cross also provided financial assistance to 4 families and 13 individuals in Morrill County.
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