The flash cyclone that has caught the Midwest off-guard has caused tremendous flood damage in Nebraska.
With a toll greater than $1.3 billion, and at least three flood victims, this natural disaster has been declared the most severe to have ever hit Nebraska in a very long while.
Huge amounts of rainfall merged with rapid springtime snowmelt and swept through Nebraska’s 93 counties, pushing more than three-fourths of them to declare a state of emergency.
According to Governor Pete Ricketts, the first damage estimates have exceeded $1.3 billion, where infrastructure accounts for $449 million of the damage, crop fields account to over $440 million, and more than $400 million in cattle deaths.
Urging the government to open the federal disaster fund for the many families and businesses destroyed by the massive flooding, Ricketts has called Vice President Pence to tell him how this “was some of the worst flooding he had ever seen in his life.”
Adding to the drama, Ricketts said that in terms of areas affected, “I don’t think there’s ever been a disaster this widespread in Nebraska.”
He has high hopes that this will “help the president make the decision to sign that disaster declaration,” because this devastating event not only scars the infrastructure and economy of Nebraska, but will also reflect on a national level.
The flooding came so quick that it left most farmers without a reaction.
One farmer in Sherman County recalls how the ice and other frozen debris were “exploding from the river,” and that “within 15 minutes it was devastation.”
He reported some of the ice chunks were about 3 feet thick and spanning the size of an extended-cab pickup.
While some farmers had to run for their lives, others had to make dramatic decisions between saving their neighbours or their cattle.
As Mahon made up his mind, he jumped into his tractor, went against the floodwaters, and saved four of his neighbours, among them one elderly woman past 85 and a 9-month-old baby.
The heroic deed came at a high price though – $50,000 gone out of his pocket as the waters carried away 30 of his calves and about the same number of cows.
There aren’t any words that can offer solace to those people, except for the government’s support which is uncertain it will arrive.
With millions of bushels of wheat, corn and soybeans ravaged by the flooding, food prices will soar in the very near future.
And probably the most impactful effect will be felt on the beef market where, according to Agriculture Secretary Sunny Purdue, there “may be as many as a million calves lost in Nebraska.”
Beef price will never get as low as it is today, that’s a certainty. And we might experience these repercussions for the years to come.
Shelf price might not go up this instant, because of the food available in storage. But after that we are going to see a consistent spike in price.
In case you don’t have a local beef supplier and rely exclusively on the market, it might be a good idea to stack up some beef to save some spending in the near future.
Other than this, we can only pray for those who are going through these incredible struggles right now, since the weather forecast is not so great.
And the best thing to do would be to learn from such events and actively and effectively prepare for when disaster will strike your area.
Remember to have your emergency plan ready for when the first signs of a catastrophe are felt or seen.
It’s also vital to take into account which disasters you are most predisposed to in your area and try to think of a solution ahead.
With this in mind, you can rest a little bit more assured that you and your loved ones will be ok during crisis situations.
P.S.: The press should trumpet about this, yet most news outlets keep silence. This video describes the situation there briefly