Governor Surveys Pilger Damage - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Governor Surveys Pilger Damage

Governor Surveys Pilger Damage

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By: Jenn Hatcher

The wreckage inside Pilger is heartbreaking.

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman says, "There's no doubt, this community has been hit the hardest of all communities."

He compared the destruction to the 2004 Hallam tornado.

After arriving by helicopter Tuesday, Heineman toured the village of less than 400.

He saw flipped cars, streets full of rubble, the fire hall destroyed and the spot where five-year-old Calista Dixon died.

He also spoke with residents like Peg Bravec, the bank employee waited out the storm with her coworkers in the business vault, the bank is destroyed, the employees went uninjured.

Bravec recalls her time in the vault, "Ears started popping, we could smell dust, and you could tell debris was flying around, floor was shaking and I just said pray."

Even before seeing the damage first hand, Heinemann declared a state of emergency.

Tuesday he told the people of Pilger they will get assistance to rebuild.

Clean up is set to begin Wednesday morning.

Anyone wanting to volunteer is asked to check in with incident command near the Pilger ballpark.

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