Governor Pete Ricketts traveled the state on Friday, Jan.31 making stops in O’Neill and Spencer to recognize the O’Neill and Spencer Volunteer Fire Departments for their heroic efforts during the March 2019 floods.
The flood which was the worst widespread natural disaster in Nebraska history and cost six Nebraskans their lives.”
Governor Ricketts recognized them as flood heroes with a plaque of appreciation that had the Governors Flood Hero commemorative coin in it. Mike Walker and Scott Poese of KBRX were recognized for their efforts in getting information out, being a drop off point for donations and through the efforts of individuals, organization and businesses raising over $250,000 to help with flood relief. The Governor bestowed Admiralty to the two making them honorary Admirals in the Nebraska Navy.
Ricketts thanked the O’Neill Fire Department and awarded the unit for its efforts during the flood.
"The front-line against the flooding was made up of volunteer firefighters, Ricketts said.
“It was our volunteer fire departments that were primarily our first responders, our first line of defense against what happened,” he said.
“Thank you, to all the members of the O’Neill Fire Department who worked so hard through that terrible storm to be able to keep people safe in our state,” he said.
"O'Neill Fire Chief, Terry Miles said there were many heroes who stepped up during the flooding.
“This is always a team effort, I just want to thank all the members of the fire department for their efforts. It was an ugly situation, but we did do our best, and we made it work.” Miles said.