Nebraska Task Force 1 Back Home, Impressed by Colorado's Resolve

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Lincoln, Neb.-- After five days in Colorado, Nebraska's Task Force 1 (NETF1) is back in Nebraska.

The eighty member crew battled flood-ravaged Colorado to help in what they called accountability and humanitarian efforts.

Much of their work involved making sure residents of Boulder County were accounted for, which meant a lot of walking, and a lot of hiking.

Lincoln Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Brad Thavenet said one day involved about 50 miles of trekking between destinations.

"Nobody was injured at all," Thavenet said, "nothing but the typical sore legs from a lot of hiking."

Crews said they also kept a close eye on altitude sickness, and had to be weary of bears, snakes and mosquitoes, but nothing serious happened to any of the members.

Some of their days started as early as 5 a.m., and wouldn't end until the sun went down.

"As you can imagine," Thavenet said, "things changed overnight. So, if [crews] got a new task or new assignment, they were flexible and dynamic, which is a testament to the individuals that went up there."

Change overnight, indeed.

"One day," Thavenet said, "the river would be here, and the next day it had widened out to a total different direction, whatever path it wanted to take."

NETF1 said the flood waters caused a shocking amount of devastation and destruction, as entire roads were gone and homes swept away.

But, they said the compassion and resolve from the people that lost their homes was unbelievable.

"They're at their worst moment," Thavenet said. "They're displaced out of their homes, they have no life's possessions with them.

"At their worst moment, they're asking [the task force] what they can do to help...that was probably just as human effect, probably the most effect on anybody."

Thavenet also said by the time they left, they'd rescued roughly two dozen people.