North Bend putting grant money toward levee repair
NORTH BEND - Bob Shanahan said he vividly remembers the flood last March.
“The fire department came through town mid-morning and just said ‘get out of town, the water’s coming,’” Shanahan said.
While the owner of Bob's Custom Meats said it didn't impact his business, he saw first hand what the floodwaters did to others in town.
“The mountains of stuff out of peoples’ basements and crawl spaces that accumulated up at the swimming pool...it was just heartbreaking to see children’s toys and favorite recliners and all that just in a pile,” he said.
That wasn't all the high water did. It also heavily damaged the town's levee on the Platte River.
City council member Ken Streff said by mid-July, 70 percent of the levee had eroded away.
“Anytime the water went up, you could go out there and watch chunks of the levee fall off," Streff said. "We really didn’t know how bad it was below the water line and it turns out that we had some pretty large holes sitting on the face of the levee below the water.”
If it washed away, there would be nothing to protect the town from floodwater.
Streff said work to repair the levee has been taking longer than they'd hoped. He said the $400,000 project is around 95 percent complete but that they didn't have enough rock to lay down.
They recently got some good news though: North Bend is one of six communities and organizations receiving grants from the Nebraska Flood Recovery Fund.
Streff said the $62,000 their town is getting will cover much of the costs for that final stretch.
“This grant made that last little bit that came in a lot more easy to swallow, in terms of how we were dealing with it,” he said.
"These small towns, they don’t have a lot of excess cash," Shanahan said. "Every little bit helps.”
If you would like to donate to the Nebraska Flood Recovery Fund, call (402) 323-7330 or visit: https://www.nebcommfound.org/give/nebraska-flood-recovery-fund/