- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The governor has approved a state disaster declaration to help Nebraskans recover from the tornadoes and severe thunderstorms that swept through parts of eastern Nebraska over the weekend.

On Monday Gov. Dave Heineman toured Beaver Crossing, Sutton and other communities hit hard by the storms.

“I appreciate seeing the affected areas today and speaking with the responders and volunteers on the ground,” Heineman said. “I am declaring a state of emergency and we are providing necessary assistance as our communities begin the process of putting their lives back together after a natural disaster.”

An emergency declaration lets state personnel assist with emergency situations and allows maximum flexibility in deploying Nebraska National Guard and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency NEMA resources.

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