Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Cemetery monument and wastewater treatment tower damaged in storm

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  • NEBRASKA CITY – A cemetery monument and a wastewater treatment tower were among property damaged last weekend during a severe thunderstorm that brought winds in excess of 50 miles an hour.
    Nebraska City Utilities Department General Manager Leroy Frana said the dome on one of the towers was "peeled back by the wind."
    The towers, which sit side-by-side, are located just two blocks south of Central Avenue.
    "It's about 30 feet tall, round, and about 40 feet in diameter," Frana said. "We've had heavy winds before… [The wind] could have just hit it at the right angle – the other one is perfectly fine."
    Frana said crews spent the better part of Sunday and Monday repairing utility services damaged by falling tree branches.
    Wyuka Cemetery Foreman Jim Teten said a 1,000-pound cemetery monument was knocked down during the storm, while another was slightly moved.
    The damage was caused by falling tree debris - the top half of a "rotting tree," he said.
    "We're in the process of cleaning it up right now," Teten said Monday afternoon. "The two monuments were side-by-side. You almost have to see the statue on top – it's turned. It's a miracle it didn't come off."
    Public Properties Director Dan Giittinger also said on Monday that crews will be working at least until Wednesday to clean up debris.
    According to weather reports, the storm blew through about 3 a.m., Sunday morning with winds in excess of 55 miles per hour.
    Giittinger heard reports that it was much worse.
    "I heard it was up to 80 miles an hour," he said. "But it was a substantial amount of wind that caused this amount of damage, and it was all across town, from the east end to the west end of town.
    "Sometimes you get a little burst, but this was a full-city event. I've heard rain reports
    up to 2 inches, depending on where you were, but the wind was more widespread than the rain, and we had plenty of both."
    While there is no way to put a dollar amount on the damage caused by the storm, Giittinger said the city has already invested 30 hours of overtime for cleanup.
    "We had 11 streets blocked at one point Sunday morning," he said. "We'll be cleaning up, and there are trees that need to come down or limbs that are hanging."
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