Twelve more counties — including Madison — were added Wednesday to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s list of counties eligible for individual assistance in the wake of last month’s historic flooding.
In addition to Madison County, other area counties now eligible for individual assistance are Antelope, Boyd, Burt, Cuming, Pierce, Platte and Stanton.
Hall, Howard, Nance and Saline counties were also added to the individual assistance list.
Counties previously approved were: Boone, Buffalo, Butler, Cass, Colfax, Custer, Dodge, Douglas, Knox, Nemaha, Richardson, Sarpy, Saunders, Thurston and Washington, as well as the Santee Indian Reservation.
Nearly $13.9 million in individual assistance has been granted from FEMA so far.
Connie Johnson-Cage, who is FEMA’s Nebraska federal coordinating officer said affected people should apply, regardless of whether their county has been announced as being eligible for individual assistance. People won’t have to apply again if their county is added to the list.
In related news, Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday also extended emergency relief executive orders to May 15 for the “most widespread disaster we’ve ever seen in our state.”
One of the orders suspends fees paid by solid waste disposal facilities to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality. The order directs those facilities to use the fees to reduce the costs for Nebraskans to dispose of storm debris and animal carcasses.
In other flood updates:
— 32 miles of Nebraska highways are still closed, said Kyle Schneweis, the director of the Nebraska Department of Transportation. About a third of Nebraska’s highways — about 3,300 miles — were closed at one point by the flood.
— Temporary solutions for two wiped-out bridges are planned, for Highways 12 and 281, but they won’t be in place until late summer or fall.
— A contractor is in place to repair the Boyd County water line that ran under the Niobrara River. Four communities in Boyd County were relying on bottled water but now are using private well water, which they are advised to boil out of caution. The contractor is waiting for the weather to stabilize before beginning the project.
For individuals or businesses impacted by the flood:
If you have a homeowner’s or flood insurance policy, file your insurance claim as quickly as possible. Document your damage with photos or video. Make a list of damaged items. Register with FEMA.
Although FEMA assistance cannot make you whole, it may help your recovery by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, accessible and secure. FEMA assistance may also provide grants for a temporary place for you and your family to stay while you build your recovery plan.
Here’s how to register with FEMA:
— Online, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
— On a smart phone, download the FEMA app and click on “disaster resources,” then “apply for assistance online.”
— By phone, call FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Telephone registration is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.