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Flood Relief

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has proposed nearly $60 million in state assistance to help the state recover from last year’s record floods. That proposal includes a surprise $9.2 million boost for a dozen of Nebraska's hardest-hit counties. Ricketts unveiled the plan Wednesday during his annual State of the State address to lawmakers that lavished praise on the citizens and state officials who responded to the disaster. Ricketts says the flood response was “Nebraska's finest hour,” but the disaster put undue pressure on local governments.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doesn't expect to eliminate from its reservoir system all the leftover water from last year's near record runoff that led to massive flooding along the Missouri River. Officials are raising the current releases in expectation of high spring runoff again this year. The Corps' John Remus told the Omaha World-Herald the system needs to make as much space as possible in light of forecasts for warmer than normal weather and higher than normal runoff.

Following devastating floods last March, the tiny eastern Nebraska town of Winslow is debating whether to move 100 feet higher to a nearby hilltop or face being washed away in future floods. It’s a choice more riverside communities may face as climate change increases flood risks. Since the creation of a buyout program in 1989, federal and local governments have poured more than $5 billion into buying tens of thousands of properties threatened by persistent flooding to avoid rebuilding.

Dozens of people who helped respond to the 2019 Nebraska floods are getting honored for work saving lives and rescuing stranded neighbors. Gov. Pete Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore presented awards Tuesday to individuals and groups that contributed to the effort. Special accolades went to James Wilke, a Columbus farmer who died trying to save a stranded motorist from floodwaters, the Nebraska National Guard, and a group of firefighters and volunteers whose air boat capsized as they worked to rescue a family from their home.

Hundreds of containers — many carrying hazardous materials — have floated into Missouri since flooding in the upper Missouri River basin during the spring.

Flood Victims Get Day At Zoo

Nov 4, 2019

Families impacted by flooding are treated to a day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha.  The United Way of the Midlands, Kellogg Company Fund and online wholesaler Boxed teamed up to stage the free event.  Nearly 15-hundred flood victims took part in the free day at the zoo which featured animal exhibits, refreshments and free giveaways.  Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley spoke at the event about the state's latest flood recovery efforts.

 

Flood Cleanup Could Be Costly

Oct 31, 2019

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Flood cleanup in Nebraska could be costly.  The Nebraska Military Department has requested nearly 50-million-dollars to pay for the state's costs for recovering after the spring floods.  The agency also asked for three-million-dollars to put in the governor's emergency fund.  Nebraska Emergency Management Agency officials say total damage to the state's infrastructure following the flooding could reach 400-million dollars.

 

Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Flooding along the Missouri River has stretched on for seven months in places and could endure through the winter, leaving some Upper Midwest farmland and possibly some homes encased in ice. There are several reasons for the flooding, including high levels along the river, saturated ground and broken levees. And with forecasters predicting a wetter-than-normal winter, it’s possible flooding could continue in some places all the way until spring, when the normal flood season begins. “There’s no end in sight.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska state emergency officials who faced record floods this summer are now scrambling to boost their ranks with more workers to help residents recover and rebuild their communities.

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency plans to hire 17 new employees in the coming months, increasing from its current 41 to 58 workers.

Flooding throughout the state swamped the agency with service requests that began in March and continued throughout the summer. The recovery won't end anytime soon, as government officials undertake the slow process of rebuilding.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Agriculture Department has announced the award of $36 million to buy conservation easements on Iowa agriculture land damaged by flooding this year.

The funds are available through the flood plain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service field offices are accepting applications through Oct. 18.

GERING, Neb. (AP) — Farmers in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming left without a way to water crops following the collapse of a massive irrigation tunnel in July will be covered by federal crop insurance.

That word came Friday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which determined that the cause of the collapse was weather-related and caused by heavy precipitation. Farmers affected by the collapse should contact their insurance agents to file a claim.

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, Nebraska, says repair work on a levee breach near Hamburg, Iowa, has been completed.

The agency said in a news release Friday that the breach was one of four priority breaches to be closed in the wake of historic flooding along the Missouri River in March. The Corps says the work, which began in early May, was completed Thursday.

Newt Marine Service of Dubuque, Iowa, was awarded the $12 million contract for the repair work.

Nebraska Broadcasters Association

The statewide “#NebraskaStrong Drive for Flood Relief” led by NBA member stations on Friday, March 22nd resulted in $441,919 in donations to the American Red Cross to aid the victims of the historic flooding impacting Nebraska and southwestern Iowa.