September 15, 2014

Pilger residents need to mind flood plain rules when rebuilding

The destructive path of the tornado that hit the northeast Nebraska town of Pilger last month went right through the flood plain.

Bill Jones, with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, says any rebuilding that’s done will have to meet the flood plain management plan that was approved by the village about ten years ago.

“It’s very important, as you’re doing repairs, that you get the proper permits so everything is done ahead of time,” Jones says. “It’s going to be very important to you because if disaster assistance does become available and there are grants, there are going to be insurance ramifications with that, and if you’re going to be using the banks and getting loans, there are going to be insurance ramifications with that, and if you don’t build right, your flood insurance premiums are going to be very prohibitive.”

Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger says several state agencies are available to help with everything from insurance claims to hiring a reputable contractor.

Sheriff Unger says, “Representatives from the Nebraska Department of Labor are planning on sending teams of investigators to provide residents with information concerning the hiring of contractors, who to hire and what to watch out for.”

He says to get everything in writing first, never pay cash upfront and to always check a contractor’s references, including using the Better Business Bureau website or 800-number.

By Susan Risinger, WJAG, Norfolk