Flood recovery continues as FEMA applications open up

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The federal government extended the disaster declaration set in place in March to now cover the July flooding. FEMA officials are saying this is the first time they've done something like this and Nebraskans are grateful for their help.

Drone footage of Kearney flood damage in July. (KSNB)

Some flood victims may have some extra steps to receive more assistance.

“Well it is a little bit different for people who have been hit before,” Buffalo County Emergency Manager Darrin Lewis said. “One, if they haven't fixed anything from the prior then they probably won't see any additional funding.”

They will need to present photos or receipts of replacement items to prove they were trying to make some repairs when they were damaged again.

The funding can help homeowners, small businesses, and even renters. Lewis says FEMA has a lot of guidelines of who can qualify for this funding. For example, FEMA usually only give money for repairs if the main floor gets about two feet of water. But many people have damage in their basements so they will have to prove it is a primary living space to meet the requirements.

“So there are a lot of things people just need to find out through applying,” Lewis said. “The number one thing people need to do is first apply and then FEMA will actually send an inspector out to those individuals to look at their damage or what has been fixed, those types of things.”

The recovery effort spans far outside of Kearney. The Salvation Army will be focusing on Dawson County where hundreds of homes have been affected by the water.

“We just know there are not as many resources in the Dawson County area so we want to go and help them with a utility bill or at least a part of one,” Salvation Army Program Director Carrie Carpenter said.

She also said they don't need any more water or supplies donations.The main thing they need now is monetary donations to help with bills. The Salvation Army will be in Lexington on Monday from 1-7 at Trinity Lutheran Church to meet with people they have sent letters to offering to assist them with their most recent utility bill.

The deadline to register for FEMA funding is September 13.