Tornado Devastates Local Community

Desks under which two Pilger Post Office employees took shelter during the tornado.

Desks under which two Pilger Post Office employees took shelter during the tornado.

Postal employees in Pilger, NE, continued to deliver the mail last week after two tornadoes tore through the small farming community.

On June 16, the tornadoes damaged or destroyed three-quarters of the town’s buildings, including the Pilger Post Office. One employee’s house was significantly damaged.

Two employees were inside the Post Office when the tornadoes hit but escaped without injury. After the storms dissipated, Norfolk, NE, Postmaster Joe Kittelson and Norfolk, NE, Rural Carrier Darcy Kleinschmit drove to the Pilger Post Office, sorted through the debris, recovered all of the mail and secured it until Postal Inspectors arrived from Omaha, NE.

“While our postal employees work to continue to connect the mail with area residents, our thoughts and prayers are with members of our community who have been impacted by the devastating tornadoes,” said Manager of Post Office Operations Dawn Bayer.

Postal operations in Pilger, located in northeast Nebraska, were moved to the nearby Wisner Post Office.

“I was touched by the dedication and determination of the employees who, after suffering through such a frightening ordeal, remained at the Post Office and volunteered to assist in the recovery efforts,” said Omaha, NE, Postal Inspection Service Team Leader Tom Harding.

Omaha, NE, Senior Plant Manager Brian Gaines praised the employees for “how they pulled together under very difficult circumstances.”

David Herout, a retired postal employee, was one of two people who died during the storm, along with a 5-year-old girl.

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