2019 Flood News

Reminder: Flooded Grain is Considered Adulterated for Food, Feed, and Animal Consumption

See the Progress DEQ's March 2019 Flood Dashboard Update as of April 29
Got Sand? Call a Dairy Farmer near you. Dairy farms use sand for cattle bedding. You can also contact DEQ as they are working with landfills to use displaced sand from recent flooding. NEDEQ Sand Guidance

Quick Links

Nebraska Disaster Relief Interactive Information Sheet - PDF
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality - Natural Disaster Flood Guidance QR Sheet
NE Dept. of Environmental Quality - Commonly Asked Flood Questions
Free Water Testing
Ag and Livestock Assistance
Find & Contact Your NRD
Nebraska Department of Transportation Flood Recovery Projects
Nebraska Department of Transportation 511
Nebraska Department of Natural Resources Stream Gauges
Nebraska Emergency Management
Nebraska Department of Insurance - Flood Outreach Kit (Information about Flood Insurance Coverage)
NE Dept. of Insurance Flood Related Coverage Informational Overview
Nebraska Department of Revenue Form 425 Report of Destroyed Property Get Form
The Form 425 is to be used by owners of real property whose property has suffered significant property damage as a result of a calamity occurring on or after January 1 and before July 1 of the current assessment year. The property owner may file the Form 425 with the county assessor and the county clerk on or before July 15.

Dollar and Energy Savings Loan at 1%

On April 5, 2019, the Nebraska Energy Office, in conjunction with Nebraska lending institutions, began providing assistance to those affected by floods, by offering Dollar and Energy Saving Loans at 1% interest (subject to lender approval)*. On April 16 the Energy Office opened this ultra-low interest loan offering to all Nebraskans to make energy efficient home and farm improvements such as:

  • Heating, cooling, and water heater equipment replacement
  • Irrigation system, grain dryers and other farm efficiency improvements
  • Foundation walls repaired or replaced and insulated

Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Fact Sheet The 1% loan offer will be effective until July 1, 2019 or as funds are available.

Free home weatherization services are available through the Energy Office Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which is administered in conjunction with Local Regional Service Providers. Furnaces and/or air-conditioning systems, as well as other energy conservation projects, may qualify for free replacement for individuals with annual household incomes that are less than 200% of the federal poverty level. The program pays for weatherization assistance up to $5,000.Those interested in applying for free weatherization should contact their Local Regional Service Provider which is listed in the Low Income Weatherization Factsheet .

New 0% Loans for Interim Drinking Water and Wastewater Projects

NDEQ is informing communities that there will be interim 0% loans available from the state to assist in projects to restore their flood-impacted drinking water and wastewater facilities. Although most of these projects are expected to ultimately be funded through grants from other sources, there can be a multi-year gap between the time a community is approved for disaster reimbursement and the time they may receive this reimbursement. To assist communities during that multi-year gap, NDEQ can offer them 0% interim loans through the state’s State Revolving Loan Funds.

NDEQ staff can assist communities in determining their best financial options. In the long term, the vast majority of the money distributed through the 0% Wastewater and Drinking Water Interim Loan Program will be recovered by the state’s State Revolving Funds. These funds will then be reallocated to other community drinking water and wastewater loan needs. For more information, call (402) 471-4200.

"Orphaned Containers" with Hazardous Materials

Report “Orphaned Containers” from Flood to 1-877-253-2603.  The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency to identify, report and remove containers of potentially hazardous materials that were displaced by the March 2019 floods. Those who find these containers, also called orphaned containers, can report them to their county emergency manager or call the NDEQ hotline at 1-877-253-2603. Once the containers are reported, the EPA will make a record of it and arrange for a contractor to remove them. Nebraskans are asked to provide information on any displaced containers on their property or in their communities by May 3.

Orphaned containers include propane tanks, drums, and totes that may hold hazardous substances. Nebraskans are asked to only report containers larger than 20-pound propane tanks. If possible, include pictures when reporting these objects. For more information and access to a form for reporting orphaned containers, go to http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/Disaster.

NE Dept. of Ag's Final Disaster Relief Update

New Nebraska Flood Recovery Fund 
the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation and Nebraska Community Foundation announced Wednesday the establishment of the Nebraska Flood Recovery Fund. The fund's purpose is to assist Nebraskans, especially low-income Nebraskans impacted by flooding in 2019, to recover and rebuild their lives. More Info 


Free Safety and Health Consultations Available to Flood-Impacted Businesses

Trained NDOL consultants are available to assist with mold remediation plans, provide safety and health assessments, identify electrical hazards, and perform overall risk assessment.  The free consultations are available through the On-Site Safety and Health Consultation program.


For the Farmers

FSA Programs Available to Producers Impacted by Flooding and Storms
Video: NE Farm Bureau & NE USDA FSA Q& A 

Nebraska USDA -FSA Office Releases Question & Answer Document on Flood-Related Programs

Programs offered by USDA FSA continue to be evolving. Updated (May 2, 2019) USDA-FSA Question & Answer Document on Flood Relief Programs. Share with farmers and producers, remind them that timelines and processes continue to change. 
Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
ECP provides up to 75% cost-share reimbursement for recovery efforts, including the removal of debris and sediment on farmland. The USDA-FSA program has four main practices:
  • EC 1 - Addresses debris removal (including sediment) as long as it’s not below the plow layer. This practice doesn’t require any environmental assessments and requests can be processed quickly, if not immediately after notifying the local FSA office.
  • EC 2 – Addresses any necessary shaping and grading that occurs below the plow layer. This practice requires an environmental review and a 30-day wait period.
  • EC 3 – Addresses repair and reconstruction of fencing.
  • EC 4 – Addresses reconstruction of structural practices, including terraces, waterways, dams, etc. This practice requires an environmental review and wait period.
ECP is administered by FSA state and county committees and county offices. Producers should contact their local county FSA office for more information about this program and prior to taking any action to repair damages. More Info

USDA-NRCS Cover Crop Program
To help manage cropland damaged by Nebraska’s severe spring weather, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing funds to plant cover crops on cropland acres. Producers are encouraged to apply by May 17, 2019, or June 21, 2019 at their local USDA Service Center. News Release

USDA-NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Livestock Mortality Help
Application Extension: July 1, 2019. Apply for financial assistance to properly dispose of dead livestock. More Info

Should Leases be Adjusted for Flood-Damaged Farm Ground? UNL Extension

Livestock Assistance

NE Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund
The fund is providing financial assistance on a statewide basis to needy or distressed cattle producers in Nebraska impacted by Winter Storm Ulmer/Bomb Cyclone. Eligible applicants under the Fund include any cattle producer with an operation located in a county or tribal area falling under an emergency or disaster declaration made by the Nebraska Governor or Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Moreover, applicants must demonstrate genuine need or distress as a result of the disaster by providing relevant asset information and certifying their assets are not sufficient or adequate to rebuild from the damage suffered. Membership in Nebraska Cattlemen is NOT required for an applicant to receive relief. Applications must be postmarked May 31Application Info

Unemployment Assistance & Taxes

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available to Workers Impacted by Floods
Nebraska Labor Commissioner John H. Albin announced workers who became unemployed as a direct result of flooding in the state may qualify for unemployment assistance. The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program was triggered when President Trump designated portions of the state a disaster area on March 21, 2019. The process for filing is the same as regular unemployment insurance benefits. Claims should be filed online at NEworks.nebraska.gov.   All DUA applicants will be required to provide documents to verify wages. Deadline for applying for unemployment insurance is May 3, 2019. More Info
Nebraska Tax Commissioner Adds Locations Eligible for Tax Relief for Adversely Impacted Nebraskans
An automatic waiver of penalties and interest for late filed returns or payments of impacted individual, corporate, fiduciary income tax, partnership, and S corporations due on or after March 1, 2019 is granted if the return is filed and the tax is paid by July 31, 2019. The relief previously announced is expanded to include additional areas identified by NEMA as most likely to have experienced significant flooding. This relief will be automatically granted solely to taxpayers whose business or home location is in one of the zip codes identified by NEMA. Press Release
Nebraska Tax Commissioner Grants Specific Relief for Adversely Impacted Nebraskans ‚Äč Press Release

Disaster Aid Update

State and federal officials provided these estimates on the damage:
  • 81 of Nebraska’s 93 counties are included in the disaster area.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently declared 12 more counties eligible for Individual Assistance. Those counties are: Antelope, Boyd, Burt, Cuming, Hall, Howard, Madison, Nance, Pierce, Platte, Saline, and Stanton.  
  • 100 million in state road and bridge infrastructure damage.
  • $60 million in city and county road and bridge damage.
  •  Over 2,600 homes damaged or lost.
  • Over 2,500 referrals for Small Business Administration home repair loans and 419 business loan referrals
  • $1 billion in agriculture losses, which includes livestock losses from the blizzard in western Nebraska, and crop losses, which includes land that cannot be planted this year or will see delayed planting.
  • About 32 miles of state highways are still closed, requiring repairs or rebuilding which is down from the original 3,300 miles initially closed
  • 27 state bridges are damaged.
  • FEMA has dispersed nearly $13.7 million in financial assistance to households affected by the disaster. This includes money to rent a temporary place to stay, make basic repairs to a home and other forms of assistance.
  • Disaster recovery centers are open, or scheduled to open, in Boone, Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders, Thurston, and Washington counties. More will be announced soon.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program has paid $6.4 million in flood claims to date.
  • The Small Business Administration has approved nearly $2.5 million dollars in disaster assistance loans to businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters to recover from the Nebraska March severe winter storm, straight-line winds and flooding.
Governor Ricketts Extends Emergency Relief Executive Orders through May 15, 2019.  
  • Executive Order 19-02:  Suspends the length and weight hauling requirements for motor carriers assisting with disaster relief efforts. Permits drivers of commercial motor vehicles to work longer hours than typically allowed under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in order to transport urgently needed equipment, materials, and supplies.
  • Executive Order 19-03:  Gives livestock owners a reasonable amount of time, beyond the usual 36 hours, to properly bury or dispose of deceased livestock lost due to extreme weather.
  • Executive Order 19-04: Suspends the requirements for trip permits for certain vehicles engaged in flood relief.
  • Executive Order 19-05: Extends the response time for locate requests in flood-impacted communities
  • Executive Order 19-06 to suspend the fee that solid waste disposal facilities normally pay to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  The order directed the facilities to use these fees to reduce the costs to Nebraskans of the disposal of storm-related debris, animal carcasses, and damaged materials.