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ERD responds after ice storms in Nebraska

[Episcopal Relief and Development]  Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is providing emergency assistance to families affected by devastating ice storms in central Nebraska on New Year's. The state has also been hit by several snow storms over the past two weeks, making it more difficult for thousands already left without electricity.

"Four-to-eight-inch thick ice blanketed thousands of square miles from south central Nebraska up through northeast Nebraska, crumbling electric transmission towers, killing cattle, blocking roads and cutting power to thousands," said Nancy Nichols, administrator for the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska. "The major hardship has been the lack of electricity throughout the region to heat homes and keep businesses running."

ERD is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska to supply emergency assistance such as food supplies and other critical aid. St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church in Holdrege is serving as the local interfaith processing center and is distributing vouchers for immediate needs to people impacted by the storms.

"ERD's support is helping the diocese provide essential aid in the Holdrege community where churches have become information centers after television, radio and cell towers were severely damaged by the storm," said Richard Ohlsen, ERD's director of Domestic Disaster Response and Preparedness. "Long term, we are working to help dioceses across the country be prepared to respond after emergencies and plug into networks such as state and local VOADs."

To help people affected by disasters, please make a donation to the Emergency Relief Fund, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development, "Emergency Relief Fund", P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.