‘Flood heroes’ honored for response to 2019 Nebraska flood

December 17, 2019 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Dozens of people who helped respond to the 2019 Nebraska floods were honored Tuesday for work saving lives and rescuing stranded neighbors.

Gov. Pete Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore presented awards to individuals and groups that contributed to the effort.

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.

Ricketts called the group “flood heroes”and said they “showed their strength, grit and compassion in countless ways.”