A first look inside Pilger, NE - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

A first look inside Pilger, NE


We are getting our first look inside the town of Pilger, Nebraska after the F4 tornado tore through.

Media has not been allowed inside the city limits, until Wednesday.

KTIV's Sarah Te Slaa got a two and a half hour escorted tour through the heart of the destruction.

It's when you get to the heart of the business district is when you can really see the destruction.

As the clean-up begins, the destruction in Pilger, Nebraska is overwhelming.

"It's really difficult to see and just to be here. It's hard to digest everything that's going on. It just kind of tore my heart out that this happened," Erica Hanton, former Pilger resident said.

"I didn't know where to go or what to do. Just devastation, just absolutely udderly it's just gone," said Mary Donner, Pilger resident.

The F4 tornado scared this town. Buildings that stood for decades reduced to rubble, like the bank. And the unique, old middle school, once a shining start for the small town, a shell of it's former self.

They are salvaging what they can from the school, like the old score board.

"I spent so many years here. When I came back yesterday and looked around, it's crazy. I don't even know how to describe it." said Brad Wolverton, former Pilger resident.

The bell is the only thing standing for the Lutheran church, and grain bins from the coop crumpled like tin cans.

There are a few shining moments for the town.

One woman found her cat and her kittens.

"She survived it under the floor. The guys lifted up the floor and she was trapped underneath the dresser," said Pilger resident Mary Donner.

Even with the hundreds of volunteers, the heartbroken residents and emergency personnel work together like a well-oiled machine, but the damage is so immense. This tough little town is hurting.

This town is tough. They'll rebuild.

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