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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                   (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts)
For Immediate Release                                    August 20, 1999

                        IN THE STATE OF NEBRASKA

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Nebraska and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding beginning on August 6, 1999, and continuing through August 9, 1999.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals and local governments in a three county area. The counties include Burt, Douglas, and Washington.

Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding. Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Charles E. Biggs of FEMA's regional office in Kansas City, Missouri as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be added after the assessments are completed.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

For further information contact: FEMA (202) 646-4600.