Local banks spread hope

April 10, 2019

Schuyler’s only two banks came together on Saturday in hopes of lifting up the community weeks after historic flooding wreaked havoc on the community and much of the state.

Homestead Bank and Pinnacle Bank hosted the Flood Relief Burger Bash to help raise funds for those affected by the flood.

“One of the main things that people don’t understand is that everyone in and around our communities is at different stages of flood relief right now,” said Colfax County Attorney Denise Kracl. “Some people still have water coming up in their basements because the water table is so high at the current time. Other people are completely dry, they’re cleaned up they’ve replenished their supplies and they’ve moved on and there’s everything in the middle.”

According to Kracl, Schuyler Fire and Rescue estimated that it had 65 rescues over a four- to five-day period.

“In addition, we have folks in this area both property owners - like farm ground - as well as renters and landlords whose property has been significantly affected by the flooding,” Kracl said.

The money raised won’t only help Schuyler residents, but also folks in the surrounding areas and those who work in Schuyler.

Galen Kehrli, vice president of Homestead Bank in Schuyler, said the goal was to help as many people as possible.

“We wanted to do something for the community - for everybody,” he said. “This is for the Schuyler flood relief victims. All the proceeds go directly to them. We wanted to do something for the community because there is still a lot of people out there that have a lot of issues.”

Many residents who were personally affected were also in attendance at the event, including Sarah Hopen, who is a teller and part-time receptionist at Pinnacle Bank. She said she wasn’t able to get to her house for four days because of the flooding and the damage done to the roads around her house.

“It’s really a mess,” she said. “All the roads are a lot of them are washed away and bridges are out.”

Robert Clayton was another Schuyler resident in attendance who was personally affected by the flood.

He had 4 1/2 of water came into his cabin which destroyed carpet and subflooring and ruined portions of drywall.

Clayton said that the number of people that reached out in offered to help was overwhelming.

“I’m proud of this town,” he said. “I’m very proud of how everyone has pulled together. Everyone has united in helping our neighbors, helping anybody they possibly can.”

CHI Health Schuyler had representatives at the event offering tetanus shots to people who were forced to work and wade through floodwaters.

Jill Langhorst is a registered nurse at CHI Health Schuyler and a quality supervisor, which includes infection prevention. CHI Health and Langhorst informed people that with flooding comes a higher rate of infection and any other bacteria that may be in the water.

“This just gives an extra layer of protection for those people that have their hands down in the mud and are helping, we just want to be able to support them in their efforts to be helpful,” Langhorst said.

Langhorst mentioned that any open area on the skin that comes in contact with floodwater could provide a way for bacteria to enter the body.

Langhorst went on to say that anyone who needs a tetanus shot that wasn’t able to receive one on Saturday can contact their doctor.

Another group that helped during the flood relief was the Schuyler Central High School soccer team.

The team helped fill sandbags along key areas to help prevent damage.

“We’re all one,” said senior Chuy Maganda. “If something happens in Schuyler, the whole community will come together and just work together. Kind of like a team, they’re always supportive and we’re just trying to help them. They helped us and we came together. We’re strong like the whole (state) of Nebraska.”

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at PHuguenin@columbustelegram.com