The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says the initial estimate of public costs, including damage to public property from last week’s blizzard and storm-associated flooding, is more than half a billion dollars.
According to the NEMA website, damage public property is estimated at $553,100,736. Nance County is currently estimating public losses at $231,360,400, more than half of the state total.
In the Region 22 Emergency Management area, Scotts Bluff County estimates of costs incurred due to the blizzard portion of the storm are at $296,077, and another $28,456 in Banner County. However, Region 22 Director Tim Newman tells KNEB News that is a preliminary figure that will go higher as each political subdivision submits updated total. Newman says both figures more than eclipse the dollar amount of storm damage costs required to become eligible for federal assistance.
Statewide private damage costs are currently estimated at $89,040,740, a figure guaranteed to go higher as people are able to get back to their homes, businesses and farmsteads to review damage. The Nebraska Farm Bureau is estimating losses in the agriculture sector alone could top $1 billion once all the damage is assessed.
In releasing the estimate Tuesday afternoon, NEMA officials cautioned that the numbers represented only the estimates as currently reported by local emergency management officials, and will change as staff members are able to access areas currently cut off by flooding or damage.