- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

DEWITT, Neb. (AP) - Volunteers have helped DeWitt homeowners build up leakage protection and bolster the foundations of their homes by replacing soil washed away by floodwater more than a year ago.

During the Dirt Day event earlier this week, truckloads of dirt were spread around the home foundations in the southeast Nebraska community of around 500 people.

The DeWitt Area Recovery Team had organized volunteers from the Southeast Community College Ag Club to spread soil provided by an anonymous donor. The dirt was packed down and sloped away from the foundations so rainwater runs off and doesn’t seep down and collect next to foundations, which can leak.

The team was set up to help individuals and families affected by the flooding after the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency spoke to the village board about organizing recovery efforts.

“I think the community is excited to get help,” recovery team vice chairwoman Gina Weise told the Beatrice Daily Sun (https://bit.ly/1Y4xsUJ ). “There are still people that need help from the floods.”

Turkey Creek and the Big Blue River overflowed their banks in May 2015, filling many basements in town with floodwater.

“I got about a foot of water in the basement,” said Eleanor Schwan, whose home was the volunteers’ first stop Monday.

Foundation repair costs ranged from $5,000 to $28,000 for the damaged homes. And officials said some of the damaged homes still aren’t livable.

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Information from: Beatrice Sun, https://www.beatricedailysun.com

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