The eastern/central region of Nebraska experienced extreme flooding along both the Loup and Platte Rivers as well as Beaver Creek in Boone County in the spring of 2019. Families across the region lost homes, vehicles, personal items, pets, livestock and cropland. The widespread devastation resulted in more than 400 applications for FEMA individual assistance, 200 of which were approved.
The emotional devastation, combined with the huge financial burden, has been catastrophic to impacted families. Even many of those who were approved for FEMA individual assistance are required to pay for a portion of flood mitigation costs before repairs can be made.
The East Central Long Term Recovery Group formed shortly after the flood tool place in order to assist flood impacted neighbors. Services include helping families get back to their new normal of safe, secure, healthy housing and lives, and to connect neighbors with access to additional community resources including food, clothing, and mental health and medical assistance.
One year after the flood, several homes remain unstable and families are still vulnerable to the elements and/or living with mold. To help the East Central Long Term Recovery Group continue to help these families, the Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund awarded the organization with a $75,000 grant. These funds will be used to cover costs related to furnace, electrical and plumbing issues, new windows and doors, septic tank and well repair, mold mitigation, and drywall and foundation repairs. The organization will work with families to determine need, establish a scope of work, and fund work by making payments directly to vendors or on a reimbursement basis.
“Even though the flooding was tremendous, the amount of support, generosity, and heart of the Heartland community has been incredible,” said Hope Freshour, Executive Director, Columbus Area United Way and member of East Central Long Term Recovery Group. “Rebuild the Heartland allows families to know that they are not forgotten, they have a community of support and services available to get them back in their homes. Being a recipient of Rebuild the Heartland allows families who are still struggling with the aftermath of the flood’s devastation to receive services to bring their home to a state of safe, secure and habitable environment.”