Following Tour of Storm-Damaged Communities, Heineman Expected t - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Following Tour of Storm-Damaged Communities, Heineman Expected to Issue Disaster Declaration

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Gov. Dave Heineman is expected to issue a disaster declaration after touring Beaver Crossing, Cordova, Sutton and surrounding communities damaged by Sunday's severe weather.

Many Nebraskans have been left to clean up debris and assess the damage Sunday's severe thunderstorms and tornadoes left behind.

The Mother's Day storms caused damage across much of eastern and south central Nebraska, with some of the worst damage reported in the towns being toured by the governor on Monday.

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency Assistant Director Al Berndt is with the governor on the tour. They are speaking with citizens, local emergency workers and volunteers while seeing damaged homes, businesses and community buildings. 

“There is extensive damage in Beaver Crossing and Cordova,” Heineman noted while on the way to Sutton. They reported downed power lines and extensive damage including loss of homes, walls, roofs, machine sheds, and irrigation equipment.

“Nebraska emergency management officials are actively coordinating needs assessments with local emergency workers," Heineman said. "Even when disaster strikes, I see friends and neighbors caring for and helping each other. This is Nebraska at its best.”

Sutton Fire Chief Chris Moore says volunteers began cleaning up debris and trees limbs around town at 7 a.m. Monday.

Most of Sutton's downtown buildings sustained damage, but they were all still standing. Moore says structural experts are evaluating the buildings.

At least three Sutton homes lost their roofs and several others were damaged. Additionally, utility officials estimate that Sutton will be without power for at least two days.

NEMA has dispatched teams into Seward and Clay Counties to access and assist the local responders with disaster response and recovery needs.

The American Red Cross is in Beaver Crossing and Cordova to help those affected by Sunday night's storms. An emergency shelter has been opened at Centennial High School, 1301 Centennial Ave. in Utica.
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