Thinking about Nebraska
March 29, 2019
Some people have been estimating Nebraska cattle loss at more than a million head, or about a third of the state's herd.
Other states who send their cattle to Nebraska feedlots will also be impacted by the flooding as will those who purchase feed grains from the state, especially the distillers dried grains produced by ethanol plants, many of which have been forced to partially or fully close due to flooding. Many of those plants have had to stop producing because they can't get rail service to ship ethanol.
Then there is the question of how much corn has been contaminated and how much will they be able to plant this year to even supply the ethanol plants.
And, the transportation system is a mess, roads, bridges and railroad tracks washed out. Dams and levees will need to be repaired, as well.
Then there is the clean up of homes, out buildings and equipment. I remember how Grand Forks, N.D., looked after the flood of 1997. People's flood-damaged belongings lined the streets everywhere you went.
And, I remember helping people pull up soggy carpet, tear out sheetrock and carry their damaged goods to the curb.
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I also remember caravans of people from all over the place lending a helping hand.
They helped with the clean up and the rebuilding.
Except for the huge floodwalls built up in some areas, you wouldn't know today what had been so devastating back then.
And for those of us who lived and worked downtown that changed a lot, but not just from the flooding. During the flood several downtown buildings burned including the Grand Forks Herald where I worked. But they rebuilt on the same spot and remain downtown.
I think Nebraskans are like North Dakotans when it comes to perseverance and hard work.
So although it may look dire for some time, there is light at the end of the tunnel. But it takes time, so stay safe and be patient. ❖