Churches of the Great Plains Conference have raised more than $180,000 to help with flood relief in Nebraska, officials announced this morning.
The Rev. Nathan Stanton, congregational excellence director, and Scott Brewer, conference treasurer and director of administrative services, told the conference staff that the amount included $11,000 from Copeland United Methodist Church in Kansas and $10,000 from Friend UMC in Nebraska.
“We’re hearing a lot of exciting stories of generosity and the value of our connection,” Stanton said.
While the amount is impressive, more money still is needed to help repair the more than $1 billion estimate of damage due to flooding across the state.
The Rev. Hollie Tapley, disaster response coordinator for the conference, continues to lead efforts in Columbus and Fremont, and is set to tour the area with Catherine Earl, director of disaster response and U.S. partner relations for the United Methodist Committee on Relief — or UMCOR — this week.
Despite some conflicting information on social media Monday morning, there is not a need to deliver cleaning kits from Omaha to the conference office in Lincoln.
Abby Johnson, executive director of Omaha St. Andrew’s UMC, said a misunderstanding led to a social media post, and that St. Andrew’s and FaithWestWood UMC, also in Omaha, were still depositories for cleaning kits, also known as “flood buckets.”
“Nobody needs to move them to Lincoln just to sit there,” Johnson said, adding that more than 200 buckets were taken to Columbus that morning.
While cleaning kids are still needed in Nebraska, hygiene kits are not. The conference has as many as it needs.
The Nebraska Department of Transportation has announced that the following roads have reopened:
Highway 14 is open between Verdigre and the Standing Bear Bridge. Width restriction of 10 feet on the bridge just south of Niobrara on one lane while work continues on the bridge.
Highway 30 from Columbus to Silver Creek.
Highway 81 is now open to all traffic while under construction. Traffic will be head-to-head, and a 12-foot width restriction is in place while work continues. All traffic, including heavy trucks and semi-truck traffic, is advised to follow the posted speed-limit in the construction zone, especially where lane cross-overs are present.
NDOT will hold open house meetings to provide updates on transportation-related response and recovery efforts in the area and will answer questions.
Meetings will be from 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Ponca Tribal Headquarters, 2523 Woodbine Street, Niobrara, and at the same time Friday at Northeast Community College Lifelong Learning Center, 701 E. Benjamin Ave, Norfolk.
Early Responder training has been set up in various locations through April and May:
Learn more about the flood and efforts to help those harmed by it at our webpage.