Cleanup Begins in Pilger, NE
PILGER, NE — The scene from over Pilger, Nebraska Tuesday, after Monday's twin tornadoes, one an E-F 4, the other an E-F 2, devastated the small Stanton County town.Disbelief, was the same look on the faces of people from the small Nebraska town of Pilger. "City Hall's gone, fire depts. Destroyed, public library is severely damaged, Midwest bank... we're trying to even see if it's structurally safe to go in and secure the contents. Obviously, there's money we need to account for," said Sheriff, Mike Unger. Following the double tornado that tore through the town Monday, Gov. Dave Heineman arrived Tuesday morning to assess the damage. Hugs were given and so was his promise to help. Having already declared a state of emergency, the National Guard is in Pilger lending a hand, and more help is on the way. "We'll expedite the process... FEMA has always been very very good to us. We've coordinated with them on a series of events over the years. So, we know the FEMA personnel very well," said Nebraska Governor, Dave Heineman. Even though the storm destroyed almost 75-percent of the homes in the town, Gov. Heineman is confident in the people of Pilger. "I know Nebraskans, we're resilient. We're going to rebuild. This town is too tough to die, right?," asked Heineman. With folks already getting to work, signs of hope remain.Pilger residents are going to have quite a project of rebuilding their town. Governor Heineman did say he expects that lawmakers in Washington will provide financial support in a timely manner. The governor said that anyone interested in helping the rebuilding cause can donate to the Nebraska & Southwest Iowa branch of the American Red Cross.After seeing all of this it's hard to believe the death toll only stands at two. One of the victims is five year old Calista Dixon who died at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk. Calista and her mother, Kandi Murphree, were in a mobile home on mainstreet when the twister struck. The 42 year old Murphree is in a coma at an Omaha hospital.The other victim is 74-year-old David Herout, of Clarkson, Nebraska. Herout died after his vehicle left the road and he was ejected about two - and-a-half miles east of Pilger.People from all over Siouxland are finding debris picked up by the tornadoes and high winds and dropped miles away. A bus driver from Sioux City brought something to the Siouxland News studio. It's a Village of Pilger water and sewer bill, dating back to March of 1989.The bus driver found it in the parking lot of the Countryside Nursing in the 61-hundred block of Morningside Avenue. It looks like it's a little worn from the water and the flight! By the way, the total on this water bill from 1989 is $16.20. Another piece of debris from Pilger discovered last night by Jill Rose at her home in Dakota Dunes. It's what's left of a bulletin from the 125th anniversary and worship service of St. John Lutheran Church, in December of 1972. Unfortunately, that church, along with Midwest Bank, Farmers Co-Op, the middle school, City Hall, and the post office, have been destroyed.