Community bands together to help clean-up after storm

By: Rachael Witter

The storm Thursday night leaves one family's home flattened. Friday, a community bands together to help clean up.

Just a few walls and columns are all that's left of the home North of Cornlea in Platte County. THe Herchenbach family along with volunteers in the community spent Friday picking up the pieces.

A fast-moving storm tracked through Northeastern Nebraska around 6 p. m. Thursday night. The storm dropped a tornado, and its path was headed straight for the Herchenbach's house.

The Herchenbachs, along with their kids, watched as the storm headed towards them before making it safely downstairs in their storm shelter. Just in the nick of time, glass started breaking right after they shut the door to their shelter. They could actually hear the roof of their home being sucked off the house.

“Disbelief. The sun was shining, and there were two tornadoes in my backyard. It just didn't seem possible. Tornado, you think of black, ominous, rain, hail. There was none of that. Sun was shining and two tornadoes dropped down out of nowhere,” said Bryan Herchenbach.

Friday they picked up what was left of the family home, which was only three-years-old. The roof was torn off, and several walls collapsed as a result of the tornado. Members of the community gathered Friday to offer a hand to the family.

“It's overwhelming. I mean, the support. There's people showing up that I didn't even know and they're here just to help. You can't say enough to these people, you can't. There's not enough gratitude. It's just hard to even, you know, you feel bad they're helping you, but yet you need the help,” said Herchenbach.

The cleaning up and rebuilding will be a long process. The experience is something the family hopes they never have to relive. “I'll just take it day-by-day. I don't know, it's just going to be a day-by-day thing. We're going to rebuild. You know, in another year hopefully we'll just have pictures and a few memories of what happened and hopefully this will be the last time we have to do this,” said Herchenbach.

Thankfully, there were no injuries with this storm and this was the only home that had any damage.