Gov. Dave Heineman on Friday quickly reversed the state decision to deny Sheriff Mike Robinson's plea for flood help in Washington County.

"The State Patrol will be providing support to the sheriff for the closing of the evacuation area and will continue to work with the sheriff on his mission," governor's spokeswoman Jen Rae Hein announced Friday morning.

State emergency managers had denied Robinson's request for National Guard troops on Tuesday, saying Washington County should hire private security guards to man a sheriff's checkpoint into the evacuation area.

"The State Patrol is here," Robinson confirmed Friday.

"The National Guard would have been better because that wouldn't have drained law enforcement officers from elsewhere," he said. "But we're very happy that the State Patrol is now up here."

Heineman's reversal came after John Orr, the chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, appealed to the governor to reconsider Tuesday's decision.

"As a lifelong conservative and Republican, utilizing the Nebraska National Guard in assisting Nebraska counties during times of natural disaster is absolutely the correct and proper usage of the Guard," Orr wrote Heineman.

"I implore you to contact Sheriff Mike Robinson and reexamine the urgent need."

The governor responded while surveying Missouri River by helicopter.

Hein said he never meant to deny state help to Washington County. "This was about scoping the mission for the most appropriate response," she said.

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