Dodge County, which is bordered by the Platte River to the South and Elkhorn River to the North, was one of the most heavily impacted counties in the state of Nebraska during the spring and summer 2019 floods. Fremont, NE in Dodge County was his especially hard resulting in 1,339 homeowners that applied for and received Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance.
In order for many of the approved homeowners to receive funding from FEMA, they are required to mitigate from future flood damages by making necessary repairs and are required to pay 25 percent of the cost to do so. The average total cost to mitigate a home is $50,000, which creates a huge financial burden on the homeowner ($12,500 on average).
Fortunately, there are nonprofit organizations stepping up to help homeowners with the cost of repairs. One organization is the Greater Dodge County Long Term Recovery Group, which was formed to assist families impacted by flooding through volunteer coordination, case management, construction expertise, housing solutions, as well as spiritual, physical and mental health supports. They are also working to raise funds to help the 55 homeowners in Dodge County who are required to mitigate the risk of future flooding in order to make necessary flood repairs. To support their work, they recently received a $125,000 grant from the Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund.
“On behalf of the Greater Dodge County Long Term Recovery Group, I would like to say how greatly appreciative we are to have the opportunity to rebuild our piece of the Heartland,” said Christy Fiala, Executive Director, Fremont Area United Way (the fiscal agent serving Greater Dodge County Recovery Group). “These grant funds will build resiliency in our community by helping our neighbors rebuild their lives and homes after being so harshly effected by the 2019 flooding. Though the waters have receded, more than 55 families still face anxiety of future flooding, and financial stress from the cost to rebuild. These funds will help to alleviate stress and create housing stability by lifting homes up in order to mitigate the risk of future floods, to ensure families remain safe here in our community.”