Providing a Lifeline During and After Flooding
In March 2019, KETV, Omaha, aired lifesaving coverage of historic flooding and worked with first responders on evacuations. Its Dual-Pol Super Doppler was the only live Doppler in the region after the National Weather Service’s equipment was damaged. KETV also used new technology. TVU units provided footage on the ground and a drone captured aerial views when roads became too dangerous. As damage spread, KETV warned viewers against scams, provided information on free water tests, and held local government accountable. Stories helped mobile homeowners get rent relief for periods they could not access their homes.
Following the flood, KETV partnered with the Red Cross and The Salvation Army on two telethons, raising a total of $168,000. A statewide telethon, #NebraskaStrong, hosted by the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, the Nebraska Governor’s Office and the Red Cross raised $442,000 in 18 hours.
In 2020, roads remain closed, and farmlands retain flood water. KETV continues to cover the aftermath, including FEMA meetings about changes to the local landscape that wiped out entire communities. They also air positive stories of families finally getting back into their homes. KETV has dedicated $5 million worth of airtime to flood coverage, exemplifying their dedication to serving Omaha.