Local relief efforts gear up to send supplies to flood-ravaged parts of state

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Volunteers, from the left, Dawna Bates, Bill Madron, Linda Hunkins and Judy Madron pack "Flood Buckets" for Plattsmouth. Each bucket will be labeled with the Bible verse, Isaiah 43:2.
Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette

McCOOK, Neb. — A group of volunteers will leave from McCook Christian Church Friday morning, planning to distribute "Flood Buckets" and help feed clean-up crews in Plattsmouth.

Coordinator Dawna Bates said they filled 24 5-gallon plastic buckets Monday, but they can get more buckets and they have more room in the trailers heading east. "So, if you'd still like to donate or help purchase supplies, we would gladly fill more buckets," Dawna said.

Dawna said it's amazing how Nebraskans have pulled pull together and responded to the flooding disasters in eastern and northeastern Nebraska. She said, "Rescue coordinators in several small communities told us, 'We're in pretty good shape. We'd hate to have you come and not have anything for you to do,' and suggested checking with a community down-river."

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette

The volunteers are heading to Plattsmouth, where they'll deliver the buckets, prepare meals for crews cleaning up in the community and pack sack lunches for crews, families and volunteers working in the area.

"If kids want to do something for flood rescue — they want to be able to help, too — let them bake cookies," Dawna said.

Dawna said packages of frozen hamburger would be appreciated by at least Thursday, so they can prepare some freezer meals to leave for other teams and/or for local residents "who could use a boost."

Donations of food, water, cleaning supplies, pet food and many others are being accepted at a site in Westview Plaza. Organized by Cindy Deuter, the effort will continue 9 a.m. to dark until Saturday or until the truck and trailer are full. It will be taken Deuter’s home area of Boyd County and Northeast Nebraska.
Bruce Crosby/McCook Gazette

Ground beef can be dropped off at McCook Christian Church, as can supplies for the flood buckets: Quart bottles of liquid bleach, liquid laundry detergent, household cleaners, disinfectant dish soap, insect repellent, cans of air freshener, packages of clothes pins and clothes line, scouring pads, scrub brushes, sponges, cleaning towels (reusable), disinfectant wipes, dust masks, work gloves, heavy-duty trash bags and/or disposable rubber or latex gloves.

Bottled water that has already been donated for the effort will be distributed to another community, as Plattsmouth's well water is safe to drink, Dawna said.

For more information and to volunteer for the response team, contact Dawna at (308) 340-2772.

Local opportunities

McCOOK, Neb. — Area flooding and blizzard response efforts include:

Pet Pros, McCook — Pet Pros is collecting items for pets: Pet food (canned and bagged), leashes, water/food bowls, crates and bedding, veterinary supplies such as bandages and vet wrap, cat litter and poop trays, cleaning supplies, disposable plastic gloves and paper towels. Items can be dropped off at Dollar General or Pet Pros. For more information, contact Pam Gaston at Pet Pros, (308) 345-8635.

"Stuff the Bus" — Area schools are participating in a "Stuff the Bus" effort, filling their school buses with flood response items and delivering them Friday to Wagner Chevy and Wagner Ford in McCook, where all the supplies will be loaded into a semi trailer for delivery to blizzard and flood victim relief efforts. To top it off, the Wagner Auto Group will donate $200 to a victim relief fund for every bus that is stuffed.

Items needed are: Deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, hand soap, clothes soap, women's sanitary items, new blankets and pillows, bottled water, heavy-duty trash bags, cleaning supplies, bleach, dog and cat food, individually-wrapped snacks and granola bars, beef jerky, diapers and baby wipes, baby formula, facial tissues, paper towels, toilet paper and one-gallon plastic zipper bags.

For drop-off points in individual communities, contact local school offices.

Sara Rowe at Pizza Hut, McCook — Sara will trade buffet coupons for donations dropped off at Pizza Hut on North Highway 83 in McCook. Cleaning supplies, bleach, disposable gloves, towels and paper towels. Even garden shovels. Sara will be delivering Saturday, March 23.

Hollie Anderson of Anderson Sales — For every case of bottled water donated in the McCook shop, she will match it with something else that is needed, up to 100 items.

Other donation ideas: Socks of all sizes, sleeping bags, cots, face masks/monkey noses, work/garden gloves of all sizes, air mattresses, coolers, chest waders, lip balm, disposable plates, silverware and cups and glasses, boot/shoe dryers.

Coordinators are requesting that no clothing or homemade food items be donated.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau — NFB has launched a disaster relief fund and an online agricultural disaster exchange portal to connect those in need with those who can help.

Money donated to the disaster relief fund will target Nebraska farmers, ranchers and rural communities affected by blizzard and flooding. Priority will be given to efforts to restore health and safety in rural communities and to farm and ranch households that have been damaged or displaced,those who have immediate needs as a result of the weather disaster, those who cannot get assistance from other sources, those who will have to wait until they receive other assistance, and those who have losses not covered by insurance.

The information portal allows NFB members to share information, providing a place for those in need to make requests for assistance and for those looking to help and/or volunteer. It's an online "want ad" page, posting information from members who have extra hay to sell or donate, or producers who need big equipment to remove debris. To donate or apply for assistance, go to www.nfb.org/disaster; or contact a local Nebraska Farm Bureau office or member, or the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation in Lincoln, information.nefb.org, (800) 742-4016 or (402) 421-4400.

The Middle Republican NRD has established a Disaster Relief Drop Off to provide emergency aid to Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and rural communities affected by recent storms and flooding. 100% of the donations will be distributed to Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and rural communities affected by these disasters.

Requested items: include deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, tooth brushes, toothpaste, women sanitary items, diapers - all sizes, baby formula, new blankets, new pillows, cases of bottled water, drink mixes for bottled water, 5 gallon buckets, plastic storage containers, rubber gloves, rubber boots, ziplock bags, beef jerky, individually wrapped snacks, non-perishable food items, granola bars, dog & cat food, masks, packing tape, muck boots, binoculars

Collecting donations now until 3/25 (next Monday) end of day at the NRD office: 208 Center Avenue in Curtis. Call (308) 367-4281 or (308) 991-4875 for more information.

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