Gage County formally approves disaster declaration from weekend storms
BEATRICE – The Gage County Board Wednesday approved a disaster declaration for the storms of this past Saturday that did significant damage primarily in southern areas of the county.
Gage County Board Chairman Erich Tiemann says the county’s emergency manager is working to determine if the damage level will meet a federal threshold for disaster assistance.
"Determine whether we will meet federal disaster relief dollar amounts of $3.2 million. We did meet NEMA and state dollar amounts throughout the county. Norris (Public Power District) is in on that. They're making final determinations. It's a fairly short turnaround, because they have 14 days to get that to NEMA...and then NEMA has 14 days to get that to the feds to determine if we will get any back funding."
Approved disaster declarations make an area eligible for assistance to repair damage to public facilities, such as utility poles and lines. A Saturday night storm system spun off a tornado and included straight-line winds that caused extensive damage in Wymore and the surrounding area.
Gage County Sheriff Millard Gustafson said one of the county’s patrol units was damaged by hail.
Gage County Building and Grounds Supervisor Dave Jones says there was some damage from hail to at least one building. "The Veterans Office did take somewhat of a beating. They have the vinyl siding so there's quite a bit of holes in that. The courthouse actually looks pretty good....I didn't see any slate damage. I did not see any divots in it, or at the sheriff's office."
Gage County has been working on resolving insurance coverage for damage to facilities done by a mid-December storm of last year. Jones says although some roof damage may not be apparent right away following a severe storm, such damage including leaks are a possibility months later. He said a review of buildings for potential damage will be done next week.