Providing safe shelter and clean drinking water are the main goals in any disaster relief effort. Water employees from three area towns were in Pilger Tuesday to make sure that clean water was quickly available for use after tornadoes destroyed much of the town and its infrastructure.
Chad Roberts, City of Norfolk Water Plant Supervisor, said officials from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NHHS) contacted him Monday evening after the tornado asking if he could help get the water supply restored back to the town of Pilger.
A team of people who work daily with city water issues was assembled including Dave Gobar and crew, Wisner Utilities; Jim Lewis and crew, Madison Water Department; Roberts, Ron Nitz and David Hasebroock, the City of Norfolk Water Division; along with Rich Koenig, the Norfolk office of the NHHS.
For four hours, the group went through the town shutting off valves to damaged fire hydrants and shutting off curb stops to houses. At 11:00 am Tuesday morning they began to fill and flush Pilger’s water system.
From 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm they pressurized the system and shut off valves when leaks were found. At 3:00 pm pressure was stabilized, chlorine residuals were found to be in acceptable ranges and samples were collected.
Roberts said that extensive repair work to damaged hydrants and service lines would have to wait until debris is cleared from those