State of Nebraska puts flooding and blizzard into numbers

State of Nebraska puts flooding and blizzard into numbers
Flood waters surround grain bins in Hamburg, Iowa with the Omaha Public Power District south of Nebraska City in the background. (World-Herald News Service)

The State of Nebraska released some numbers Sunday to help quantify the recent flooding and blizzard in the state.

Officials also included information for residents as the recovery continues.

Agriculture

Dozens of donations were collected to help farmers and ranchers, as the Nebraska Department of Agriculture reported. The donations: 12 for equipment; 14 for transportation; 13 for fencing; 70 for hay; 14 for other types of animal feed; 10 for animal supplies; 26 for services and labor, including veterinary care; seven offers to coordinate a local donation drive; three offers of pasture and two offers of animal housing.

The department logged 59 requests for help, for both short-term needs like feed and longer-term items like fencing.

Farmers and ranchers in need of assistance should contact their local emergency manager, the department said. A list of emergency managers can be found at nema.nebraska.gov/overview/county-emergency-management-directors.

More information is available at 800-831-0550 or nda.nebraska.gov. The main needs right now are for hay, fencing, volunteers and equipment, according to the department.

Environment

Of the 606 community public water systems in the state, 14 were temporarily unable to provide water to customers, nine boil-water advisories have been issued and five do-not-consume advisories have been issued, according to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

The department helped set up mobile testing labs in Fremont, Norfolk and Verdigre to help private well owners determine water quality. Samples were tested for coliform and E. coli bacteria, and about a third of the results indicated the presence of bacteria.

The department said it’s working with 94 animal feeding operations to make sure that wastewater lagoons are able to sustain their integrity during flooding and increased runoff conditions. The department said it has also helped residents with the proper care of hazardous substances and flood debris .

People who have lost livestock were asked to take photos to document losses and bury animals according to regulations.

Health and Human Services

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said it helped move more than 400 pallets of bottled water, enough to fill about 21 semitrailer trucks.

The department has been tracking the availability of hospital and emergency medical services. One hospital, in Lynch, had to stop taking patients because of flood damage.

Eight nursing homes were evacuated, affecting more than 200 residents, who have begun moving back, the department said.

It said that two assisted living facilities were evacuated and that those residents have since been allowed to return.

Transportation

So far, 1,309 miles of highway have reopened, while 258 miles remain closed, the Department of Transportation said. There are 15 damaged bridges on state highways.

National Guard

According to the state, the Nebraska National Guard has:

Delivered 12 pallets of water, 300 cots, nine pallets of medical supplies and — at Linoma Beach, near the Platte River — 320 slung sandbags.

Placed 500 sandbags at the Cooper Nuclear Station and 230 at the Loup Canal and dropped 22 hay bales for cattle feeding in Columbus and Richland.

Rescued 111 people and 13 pets.

More than 400 Guard members are supporting relief efforts.

Nebraska Strong

Gov. Pete Ricketts declared Friday to be Nebraska Strong Day, a day of giving to relief efforts. Donations at the end of the day totaled $436,719. Donations are still being accepted at nebraska.gov/nebraska-strong. Website visitors can list specific resource needs, and donors can connect with those in need.

Volunteer organizations

The American Red Cross and other charities have been feeding and housing flood victims.

As of Sunday:

Six shelters were open, housing 177 people.

A total of 10,330 meals had been served.

More than 45 organizations remain ready to help with identified needs.

Other help

The Small Business Administration has disaster loans available. Information can be found at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or 800-659-2955.

Heartland United Way 211 can provide information on shelters, cleanup, food, clothing and more. Anyone who has problems reaching the call center by dialing 211 is urged to call 866-813-1731.

Nebraska Emergency Management established a 24-hour hotline, 402-817-1551, to connect people in need with resources. When possible, the call center is staffed with Spanish-speaking operators and mental health professionals.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has help availablefor those who qualify. Homeowners and renters in Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy and Washington Counties can apply for the federal assistance, including those with insurance coverage. To apply, go to DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-FEMA(3362).

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