Biden Approves Disaster Declaration For Nebraska From May 12 Storms


     President Joe Biden has approved a request for a federal disaster declaration for the parts of Nebraska hit by severe storms and straight-line winds on May 12.

The declaration covers 20 counties in central and northeastern Nebraska.

    The designation allows state, local and tribal governments and some private nonprofit organizations to access federal funding through FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and to repair or replace damaged facilities. 

    Private property damages from the storm did not meet the threshold to trigger a request for individual assistance from FEMA, but the disaster declaration does make funds available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.  

     Those federal funds, available anywhere in Nebraska, can help to share the costs of public projects to reduce the risk of future damages from natural disasters.

    The National Weather Services says the line of storms that moved through the eastern half of the state on May 12 generated straight-line winds of up to 100 mph, downing power lines, poles and trees and damaging buildings.

     The storm caused power outages and damaged small structures and ag equipment. Hail ruined corn, soybean, and wheat crops while a dust storm led to numerous vehicle crashes.