A deeper look inside the damage in Pilger, Neb. - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

A deeper look inside the damage in Pilger, Neb.

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Volunteers help with the heavy lifting in Pilger clean up. Volunteers help with the heavy lifting in Pilger clean up.
PILGER, NE (KTIV) -

Steve Holderman brought a crew of 16 and his chainsaw to Pilger, Nebraska.

He's cutting down several large trees that fell in Sandy Foote's yard.

"It's bad. We've cleaned up quite a few, Beaver Crossing and Sutton, but this is definitely the worst," says Steve Holderman.

It's hard, dirty work. Without the help of volunteers willing to do the heavy lifting, Sandy couldn't do it herself.

"I thank God they are here. I thank God they are here. They've been busting their butts and I'm very thankful for them," says Sandy Foote, a Pilger resident.

Her trees took a hit, but her home is ok. Other parts of Pilger, not so much.

Parts of town leveled. The co-op, the biggest employer in town, destroyed. Winds up to 200 miles per hour swept away grain bins. Some landed on houses, others caved in.

The Wisner-Pilger Middle School took a direct hit.

Barbara Wolverton works at the school and can't believe the damage.

"When we walked down here after the tornado, it just ripped my heart out to see the school and my room is completely gone," says Barbara Wolverton, a Pilger resident.

The school's old score board, salvaged. A priceless piece of school history.

"Where ever it ends up. It's important. It's a part of Pilger," says Kurt Rathke, a former Pilger resident and volunteer.

While the destruction is so massive, there are small reminders of hope.

A warm handshake, a snack, and a smile go a long way, when these residents have so much further to go.

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