Building Inspectors Aid PIlger Recovery

It has been one week since twin tornadoes marched across northeastern Nebraska and ripped through PIlger. Residents and volunteers are still facing an uphill fight to put the town back together.

That includes some experts from the metro who are helping victims salvage what they can.

Nearly everywhere you look in Pilger, you'll find volunteers clearing away debris but there are some parts of town that weren’t hit as hard. Building inspectors came in from the Omaha area Monday to make sure those buildings are still safe.

Elaine Craft rents a home that seemed to have minor damage. She's hoping it’s structurally sound so that she can keep living there.

“I'm glad to have water,” she said. “And I got lights on again and I'm ready to come back home to live. It's just been hard."

Jay Davis was among the visitors Monday. He’s the Assistant Planning Director for the City of Omaha and Craft’s home was among the many he inspected. The experts are looking for foundation cracks, cracking above doors and windows and checking ceilings and corners of walls for anything that's moved.

Davis said, “Just to help folks who are really in need. As inspectors, we don't always get to do that. Our job gets, I wouldn't call it mundane, but we see the same things over and over and over. If we can go make a little bit of a difference somewhere else, then we feel good about that."

In Craft's case, they did find something had knocked a hole in her ceiling but it's a simple fix that will allow her to stay in the home.

“I'll be fine,” she said. “I'm doing OK."

The group of metro building inspectors in Pilger included four from the City of Omaha, two from Council Bluffs, and one from Bellevue.

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