Local Task Force Looks Back on Hurricane Katrina

As people around the country reflect on Hurricane Katrina three local rescue workers who went to the destroyed areas reflect on their work.

The men are with Nebraska task force one, the Lincoln based Urban Search and Rescue team.

Five years ago they we're called to respond to one of the biggest disasters they'd ever seen, now five years later they are looking back.

Pat Borer is one of the task force members.

“You remember some of the odors some of the sounds that you're seeing that went a long with the pictures that you're seeing on TV,” Borer said.

80 members from Nebraska Task Force one went to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. For Dan Ripley, that time in Louisiana was his second trip to the region.

“In new Orleans we had homes that were high level flooding's and in gulf port and Biloxi it was homes that were totally destroyed,”Ripley said.

The rescue workers spent about 14 days doing a variety of tasks. Borer spent time responding to backlogged 9–1–1 calls and going door to door looking for survivors, Ripley worked in logistics. Scott Wiebe was a medical specialist, making sure the whole crew stayed safe.

“Some of the oppressive heat we had this summer that was day to day operations down there it was hot and it was humid,” Weibe said.

A hot and humid job where the inspiration came from those most affected.

“It's much like the communities around here some of the local disasters we've had. The Hallam tornado stuff like that its just neat to see how everyone can come together for a common cause,” Weibe said.

“As any member of Lincoln fire or the Urban Search and Rescue team you want to go on the missions that are the heaviest the most labor intensive the most needed missions and so for me it was a great opportunity to just grow and learn new things,” Ripley said.