Just over a month since a tornado, with winds up to 165 miles an hour, ripped through parts of west Omaha, the clean-up and rebuild continues.

May 20, 2024/Joe Jordan, NCN: “Is there a timeline when you think that the parts of the city that got hit by the twister will be somewhat back to normal?” 

Mayor Jean Stothert, Omaha (R): “You know there's not really a timeline.”

And for some there’s no timeline. Federal regulations have tightened since some homes were first built.

Officials telling NCN that folks who live in the Elkhorn River “floodplain” which may be prone to flooding “may be able to rebuild.”

But homeowners with more than 50 percent damage in the “floodway” where the water flows “would not be permitted to rebuild.”

City officials telling me they, “Have counted 13 houses that we believe are damaged beyond being able to be repaired.”

With hundreds of homes outside the flood prone areas also damaged and destroyed the city is waving the fees tied to building permits.

According to the city, 238 permits have been issued and nearly $50,000 ($49,460) in fees have been waived.

April 30, 2024/Councilman Brinker Harding ,Omaha (R): “We are not waiving the process to issue permits. We are just waving the fees associated with those permits.”

Jordan: “News Channel Nebraska has learned that when it comes to those building permits—even though the City is waving the fees, there are some folks here accused of playing fast and loose with the rules.”

Stothert: ”We waived the fee for building permits just to make sure that those that come in and are ready to rebuild and get it done as soon as possible. There are some that unfortunately already started rebuilding without a permit and we don't want them to do that or use somebody out of town that you know says they could do it without a permit because permits are all about safety.”