Federal government preparing to help Nebraskans impacted by flooding

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- As water begins to recede in Nebraska the focus in Washington, D.C. shifts to long-term recovery.

Thursday, President Donald Trump announced a major disaster exists in Nebraska.

David Bibo, a deputy associate administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said, “We’re going to now be able to help rebuild as a result of the disaster declaration.”

Bibo said FEMA will step-in and help out the state with federal funding.

Bibo said, “For the repair and replacement of things like roads and bridges, schools/hospitals at 75 percent of federal share. So state and local communities are only responsible for the other 25 percent.”

FEMA says in addition to grants for damaged public property, it will also offer grants for home repairs.

The flooding is also impacting agriculture.

USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey says flood waters have destroyed some of last year’s crops stored on farms, along with cattle feed.

Farmers could also lose a growing season this year.

Northey said, “The damage can be multiple years to a family farming operation.”

Northey said while the USDA will be able to help out by providing some money, but it won’t be enough to completely undo the damage.

He said, “We know that nobody is going to be made whole, we just don’t know yet how bad it is or whether the programs will fit.”

Northey is encouraging farmers impacted to contact their local USDA office to find out which programs may be able to help Nebraskans out.

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