Today, U.S. Senators Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to expedite aid for Nebraska counties which have not yet been designated eligible for individual assistance.
Full text of the letter is found below.
Dear Acting Administrator Gaynor,
In light of the devastating storms and ongoing flooding in Nebraska, we write to request FEMA continue to act upon Governor Rickett’s expedited request for Individual Assistance by quickly providing President Trump with verified damage assessments for counties which have not yet been designated eligible for Individual Assistance. We recognize and thank FEMA for their diligent and quick work and ask that damage assessments continue to be conducted at the same speed.
President Trump has stated that additional areas may be designated for assistance upon completion of damage assessments. Given the historic damage caused by the flooding, we request that FEMA expedite its delivery of these damage assessments for the counties that have not yet been granted eligibility for the Individual Assistance as requested by Governor Ricketts. These counties include: Boone, Buffalo, Burt, Custer, Knox, Nance, Richardson, the Santee Sioux Nation, Saline, and Thurston. We are aware that expedited requests are rare. However, the severity of damage from the flooding presents the need for immediate action.
Additionally, we request that the damage assessments for the outstanding counties be given to the President immediately upon completion of each individual county damage assessment rather than en bloc, so that assistance might be granted more quickly as their assessments have been verified.
The President has already made federal funding available to individuals in nine of the 19 counties for which Governor Ricketts requested individual assistance. On behalf of the individuals in Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders, and Washington counties, we would like to express our gratitude to FEMA. The availability of this assistance will help Nebraskans in these counties to begin the long arduous process of rebuilding.
Nebraskans have proven their resilience despite the level of destruction and we look forward to coordinating with our federal partners in the effort to rebuild. We appreciate the staff FEMA has deployed to Nebraska to provide assistance to our emergency coordinators and NEMA. We look forward to your response and thank you for your attention to this matter.
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer