FEMA Tours Flood Damage

Hallam, Nebraska
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Ken Higginbotham, with FEMA, says this is strictly a fact-finding mission.
"We're here to find out what damage was done, to have it verified. And, these are turned over to a report and eventually turned over to the governor's office for determination of going in for federal assistance."

Washoe County Emergency Management and the state have both declared the area a state of emergency, but for federal aid to start rolling in several factors must first be met.

That's why FEMA is here for preliminary damage assessment, or PDA's, and visit damage sites like the retention pond at North Valley High School.
The pond spilled water and thick mud onto Golden Valley Road, the immediate clean-up cost needed so cars could pass through cost about 5-thousand dollars for the district.

Aaron Kenneston, the Washoe County Emergency Manger, says they're workiing hard to lobby for federal aid.
"To receive that disaster declaration, we need to be able to convince the federal government that we received damage in such amount and magnitude that we need relief here in the region. That's what today's all about."

Washoe County has received about 700 phone calls since the flood from people reporting damage... about 150-to-200 of the phone calls reported damage to the home.

"The federal decision opens the door to the FEMA relief money, FEMA will open a district field office, individual citizens and businesses will be able to come apply for direct relief from FEMA and that's our goal."

FEMA crews will be here surveying the sites for several days, and there is not a timeline for when the disaster report will be finished and the decision made to officially open the door for federal funding.