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Domina Speaks on Spencer Dam Flooding, Legal Options with Niobrara Residents

Domina Speaks on Spencer Dam Flooding, Legal Options with Niobrara Residents

Attorney David Domina’s trip to Niobrara, Nebraska and town hall Q&A with local residents was recently profiled by the Norfolk Daily News.

Domina’s visit focused on damages caused by the collapse of Spencer Dam, which failed under the pressure of a swollen and icy Niobrara River on March 16. Experts, media, and locals described the incident as one of almost biblical intensity; a rapidly surging river and wall of water, torrential flooding, and scars of blighted buildings and farmland left in its wake.

For the many who suffered losses of their homes, farm equipment, livestock, and other possessions, there were many questions. Domina answered these and spoke with residents, business owners, and local farmers about their options and the potential for recovering losses caused by the flooding.

Here are some of the most important points Domina made during the meeting:

  • Publicly owned – As Domina told attendees, the Spencer Dam is owned by the Nebraska Public Power District, a public entity entitled to special protections and specific statutes under tort law. That includes limited liability, and a limit of $1 million in compensation for damages per claim, per occurrence; and $5 million per occurrence for all claimants.
  • Extensive damages – Estimates of damages caused by the Spencer Dam’s failure are considerable. Knox County, the hardest hit of the four counties affected, saw estimates of more than $17M in damages. With such extensive losses, available funds would quickly dwindle should claims be filed and damages awarded.
  • Proving liability – Though many have questions whether the state may be to blame, with two bridges failing prior to the dam, or the US Army Corps of Engineers, which has failed to address the sediment issues in the Missouri and Niobrara Rivers, proving who can be held responsible for losses caused by the flooding is a significant challenge that will require legal, scientific, and engineering investigation.
  • FEMA – FEMA officials are limited to handling only residential claims, and even then only offer support to make damaged residential homes safe to live in. FEMA typically directs businesses seeking assistance to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for loans.

Read the full article about David Domina’s discussion with Niobrara residents here.

Our legal team stands in solidarity with the good people of Niobrara and other local Nebraska communities who suffered losses as a result of the Spencer Dam incident. Though the matter is exceedingly complex and investigations ongoing, there may be potential options for flood victims.

Questions About Spencer Dam & Your Rights? Call (888) 387-4134

Domina Law Group is currently researching claims for those with land and property located immediately south of the Spencer Dam.

Our firm has considerable experience in matters involving flooding displacement and damages, including our work with local landowners affected by the 2011 Missouri River flood, and the series of meetings with local residents conducted by Attorneys David A. Domina and Brian E. Jorde. With this experience, we’re committed to investigating what can be done for Spencer Dam flood victims.

If you have land or property near the Dam which was damaged, call (888) 387-4134 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.

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