Gov, First Lady Honor ‘Flood Heroes’

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and First Lady Susanne Shore honored dozens of people who helped respond to last spring’s record flooding with a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday.

Ricketts told the gathering that as he and Shore traveled the state in the aftermath of the most widespread natural disaster in Nebraska history, they heard heartwarming stories of ordinary Nebraskans doing extraordinary work.

That led the Governor and First Lady to ask Nebraskans to submit nominations for the Flood Heroes honor and hundreds of nominations were received, detailing Nebraskans’ extraordinary compassion and bravery in service of their communities.

The Flood Heroes who took direct action to save the lives of others received their official honor at the Capitol ceremony yesterday.

Special accolades went to James Wilke, a Columbus farmer who died trying to save a stranded motorist from floodwaters, the Nebraska National Guard, and a group of firefighters and volunteers whose air boat capsized as they worked to rescue a family from their home.

Ricketts also honored air boat owners, a search and rescue task force and 45 individuals who assisted in various ways.

Helping present the awards were Major General Daryl L. Bohac, Adjutant General of the Nebraska National Guard and Director of NEMA – the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, and NEMA Assistant Director Bryan Tuma.

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