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Statewide public prop. damage estimate: $500 million & counting

Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 12:53:41-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -- — Floodwaters started to recede, and emergency personnel can begin the great task of assessing the destruction, but estimates are increasing by millions every day.

The Douglas County Unified Command Center is still in full operation. With waters going down, responders can get an up-close look at the damage instead of relying on aerial footage and witness reports.

"It's very helpful to have those roads open because now we can get eyes on all those affected areas and those damages that we do see,” said Paul Johnson, Douglas Co. Emergency Manager.

The Nebraska Emergency Management website indicates an early estimated statewide impact of $500 million on public property. The Douglas County numbers aren't in, but Sarpy Co. is already reporting $100 million in damage to public property. Johnson says they could easily surpass that number with the water treatment plant and some roads being destroyed.

Douglas County Commissioners discussed funding at Tuesday's meeting.

If the flooding gets a U.S. disaster declaration the cost is shared with federal assistance paying 75% and the rest coming locally. The state and county or city would split the rest.

Commissioner Kraft questioned if the state could come up with their part.

“The money has to come from somewhere,” Commissioner Kraft explained. "We need to be prepared not just for additional costs this year but additional costs the next 2, or 3, or 4 years because this is not going to be solved overnight."

Estimates continue to be gathered by counties and NEMA for damages. They also have private property damage estimates.