Another hurdle for residents of Pilger. Many took shelter in basements when twin tornadoes hit the community last month. Those residents credit their basements for saving their lives. Now because of FEMA flood plain regulations homes rebuilt will not have basements unless they meet certain guidelines.
Pilger Village Clerk Kimberly Neiman says all homes have to be built one foot above the base flood elevation, not including a basement. Some rebuilding will have to bring in several feet of dirt to meet the requirement.
Neiman says FEMA’s regulations regarding the flood plain went into effect many years ago due to flooding along the Elkhorn River. She says the last time Pilger flooded it wasn’t from the Elkhorn River but from the Humbug Creek west of town and that was years ago. The creek was straightened and hasn’t flooded since.
An option for those staying in Pilger is to build a safe room or a safe house to take shelter in the event of another tornado.
Clean-up efforts continue in Pilger but Neiman says they are closing down operations on the 4th of July. Work will start again on Saturday at 7 am. She says they need volunteers to help remove debris and litter. They are also looking for folks with large construction equipment and dump trucks to offer their services in the clean-up effort.
Neiman says their annual Pilger Day’s celebration will be held as scheduled on July 18th, 19th and 20th. The celebration includes a barbecue, a street dance with two bands and mud volleyball.