APRIL 1, 2019 – As floodwaters continue to recede, Sarpy County remains focused on flood recovery and helping people return to their homes as quickly and safely as possible.
The Sarpy County Public Works Department has already repaired and reopened a number of roads across the county, and crews continue to make repairs as more areas become accessible. Several roadways, including Fairview Road and 252nd Street, suffered critical failures. Engineering work is already underway to repair these roads.
Teams from the Sarpy County Planning and Building Team are working 7 days a week to provide follow-up pre-connect electrical inspections for homes that sustained flood damage. As more areas become accessible, they continue to do initial assessments as well.
ACCESS IN AFFECTED COMMUNITIES
Any resident with a driver’s license or identification that shows a Betty, Chris or Hanson Lakes address can access those communities 24 hours a day. All other access will be limited to the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 10 p.m.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The floodwaters across Sarpy County are likely to be contaminated with sewage and other hazardous materials. Avoid direct contact with the floodwater and use caution when handling items that have come in contact with floodwater. Flooding can create conditions favorable for tetanus, and uncommon but very serious disease. Contact your healthcare provider to inquire about the status of your tetanus vaccine. It is recommended that adults receive a booster for tetanus every 10 years.
As floodwaters recede, mold is a major health concern.
Homeowners and volunteers cleaning structures affected by flooding should be prepared to protect themselves by utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment, including long pants, long sleeve shirts or jackets, sturdy boots, work gloves and N-95 respirators.
For more information on health concerns related to flooding, visit the Sarpy/Cass Health Department website: SarpyCassHealthDepartment.org.
DEBRIS AND DISPOSAL
Through March 26, 432.9 tons of debris have been removed from flood-affected areas.
Household hazardous waste should be taken to Under the Sink at 4001 S. 120th Street in Omaha. This includes cleaning products, paint, paint remover, antifreeze, automotive batteries, automotive fluids, caulk, aerosol cans, adhesives, garden chemicals, pool chemicals. For a complete list of what they accept, visit underthesink.org.
For information about how to dispose of chemicals safely, visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/chemicals.html.
Anyone whose home, business or property was damaged by the flooding can apply for federal disaster assistance. Apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Anyone with questions can call the FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362.
FEMA opened a Disaster Recovery Center in Bellevue at 3802 Raynor Parkway, Suite 201. Recovery specialists from the FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide information on available services, explain assistance programs and help survivors complete or check the status of their applications at the center. The center is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Applicants for disaster assistance should have the following information on hand: Social Security number, address of the damaged primary residence, description of the damage, information about insurance coverage, a current contact telephone number, an address to receive mail and a bank account and routing number so funds can be directly deposited.
A number of unsolicited contractors have requested access to restricted communities in Sarpy County. The Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office is not allowing contractors into these communities unless a home/property owner contacted that specific contractor.
Use caution when hiring firms to help with cleanup, demolition or construction. Never sign anything without reading it first. Only do business with companies and individuals you trust. If you have concerns, contact the Better Business Bureau before signing any contract or agreement.
More information about avoiding scams after a disaster is available here: https://www.sarpy.com/about/county-news/avoid-flood-related-scams-2019-03-21t050000
An electrical inspection may be required by local or state electrical authorities before service can be restored by OPPD. If you have access to your property, you can submit an application for an electrical permit online or by calling 402-593-1555 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Team Rubicon, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to disaster relief, is on hand and ready to provide assistance to those who need help cleaning homes and properties. To request assistance, call 833-556-2476.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, a network of state-based volunteer teams, has volunteers available to help clean or offer emotional support. To request assistance, call 501-954-0495.
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION RECOVERY CENTER
The U.S. Small Business Administration opened a Business Recovery Center to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by the severe winter storm, straight-line winds and flooding. The center is at Bellevue University’s John Muller Administrative Services Building, 812 Bruin Boulevard in Bellevue. It is open from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
“SBA customer service representatives will meet with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. They will answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each business owner complete their electronic loan application,” said SBA Director Tanya N. Garfield.
Sarpy residents and business owners affected by flooding may qualify for tax relief. Learn more by contacting the IRS office in Omaha at 844-545-5640.
AGRICULTURE RELIEF RESOURCES
The Department of Agriculture has provided a list of disaster relief resources for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska: http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/resources/
USDA Farm Service Agency office in Omaha can provide assistance to ag producers. They can also provide assistance with the Livestock Indemnity Program and reporting lost machinery. To contact the Omaha Service Center, call 402-896-0121.
NATIONAL GUARD ASSISTING LAW ENFORCEMENT
Nebraska National Guard members are assisting deputies at several entry points across the county. We ask everyone to remember that Guard members are citizens who have stepped away from their jobs to help Sarpy County and its residents, and to be patient as there could be waits at the entry points.
RESOURCES FOR FLOOD VICTIMS
• Salvation Army Distribution Center
Those affected by flooding can get supplies at the distribution center at 8425 W. Center Road (former Canfield’s store) in Omaha. Items available (while supplies last): bottled water, mops, buckets, shovels, rakes, bleach, work gloves and household cleaning supplies. Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
• Dial 211 or 211.org
Those affected by flooding can call 211 or visit 211.org for a resource directory. Callers will be connected to an operator who will assist them in finding resources and services available in the community
This website is hosted by local churches and organizations in cooperation with the Sarpy County Emergency Management Agency to provide information for flood victims and volunteer opportunities.
The state’s website connects people to flood-related resources and assistance.
PETS AND LIVESTOCK
Residents concerned about pets or livestock should contact the Nebraska Humane Society at 402-444-7800 ext. 1.
EMERGENCY DECLARATION AND EVACUATION DATES
Some insurance agencies are asking residents for documentation of the evacuation notices. This Sarpy County Emergency Management document provides the dates various neighborhoods and communities were asked to voluntarily evacuate: 2019 Flood Declaration and Evacuation Dates.pdf
• Sarpy County, www.sarpy.com
• Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office
• Sarpy County Emergency Management