April 19, 2015

Annual celebration will go on in July in tornado-ravaged Pilger

While the northeast Nebraska town of Pilger strives to rebuild after a strike by twin tornadoes earlier this month, residents now have a local celebration to look forward to.

During a weekend community meeting, Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger announced that the annual festival -will- take place, as always, on the third full weekend in July.

“Pilger Fire and Rescue met and have voted to have their annual Pilger Days barbeque and street dance,” Sheriff Unger says. “It will just be relocated to the ballpark area.” The announcement drew cheers and applause.

Unger covered a wide range of topics for Pilger residents, including security, trash service and controlling social media rumors.

Several state representatives were also on hand with information, including Bill Imler with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. He says the process of getting state and federal assistance will take some time but the assessment process got underway late last week by staff from NEMA, FEMA and the SBA.

“They were doing assessments of the damages to individual homes and business properties in the affected areas up here,” Imler says. “There was about five counties we were working with. Starting on Tuesday morning, myself and others will be up, doing assessments on public infrastructure.”

Sheriff Unger told the crowd he had spoken with the family of tornado victim Cali Dixon. Her funeral was held Saturday in Stanton. The family wished to thank everyone for their help and prayers. Unger reported that the last word on Cali’s mother, 42-year-old Kandi Murphree, was that she remained in an Omaha hospital, but her condition had been upgraded to stable.

By Susan Risinger, WJAG, Norfolk