OMAHA, Neb. — VIDEO ABOVE: The top 5 Iowa weather stories of 2021
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.