92.7FM | Norfolk, Nebraska

92.7FM | Norfolk, Nebraska
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Weather Hampering Debris Removal in Pilger

PILGER - (US92/KTIV) -Following the June 16th EF-4 tornadoes, the Village of Pilger is facing the daunting task of removing the homes and businesses that were destroyed.

Thousands of volunteers have descended upon Pilger over the last two weeks to help remove debris, where 75% of the town was destroyed. In an empty city lot, debris is piling up, ranging from brick from downtown buildings, steel, concrete, and trees. Stores, businesses, and city offices, Pilger Village Clerk Kim Neiman said that practically the whole town now sits in piles.

Neiman: "That's Pilger back there. Those are houses. My house is in there. I mean, everybody's house.  My neighbor's house, my next door neighbor. The one across the street. The one down the street, the one two streets over."

60% of the debris has now been removed. However, Pilger volunteer coordinator AJ Kluthe says that the rainy weather is hampering efforts to remove the remaining damage from town.

Kluthe: "Our clean-up is just down to a crawl. It's down to a truckload at a time with four people, three people doing the work."

The ongoing recovery effort is mostly in a holding pattern with heavy equipment needed to use to finish the job sits idle waiting for the ground to dry. Once that happens, the remaining debris will be hauled away, a job that Neiman said crews are anxious to finish, so Pilger can begin to look ahead…

Neiman: "That part will never come back, but it's going to come back newer and better."

While most of the debris will end up in the landfill, the steel is being recycled with funds coming back for Pilger's tornado victims.

That account has been set up at MidWest Bank, donations can be taken to the MidWest Bank locations in Norfolk.

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