Biden approves disaster declarations for Nebraska, Iowa

February 23, 2022 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — President Joe Biden has approved requests for a federal disaster declaration for Nebraska and Iowa after a line of destructive thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the states in mid December.

The designation, announced Wednesday by the White House, allows segments of the two states to access federal funding for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. The declaration covers 25 counties from south-central to east-central Nebraska and 25 counties across Iowa.

At least 45 tornadoes were confirmed in the Dec. 15 storms that crossed the Great Plains and Midwest amid unseasonably warm temperatures, with Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota taking the brunt of the damage.

The line of storms was classified by the National Weather Service as a serial derecho, which shares similarities to a hurricane, but it has no eye and its winds come across in a line.