SCC students help clean up storm-damaged communities

Diesel Technology students
Students in SCC's Diesel Technology programs take a break from clean-up efforts.
Beatrice Clean-up
Students in the Agriculture Business & Management Technology program assist with the clean-up efforts in Beatrice.

A number of Southeast Community College students have volunteered their time to help clean up in the aftermath of two recent storms, the Mother’s Day tornadoes that struck Beaver Crossing and surrounding areas, and the high wind that hit Beatrice Tuesday night.

Students from the Milford and Beatrice campuses have taken part in cleanup efforts.

Following the May 11 storm that destroyed 16 homes, did major damage to 22 and damaged more than 225 others, along with businesses and churches, more than 100 SCC-Milford Campus students assisted with the cleanup. Students representing Electrical & Electromechanical Technology, Architectural-Engineering Technology, Diesel Technology-Truck, Computer Programming Technology, Building Construction Technology, and Energy Generation Operations programs have assisted thus far. Several SCC-Milford instructors accompanied the students. 

“We all felt really good after spending what time we could in the relief effort,” said Ken Reinsch, chairman of the Electrical & Electromechanical Technology program.

More than 700 volunteers were in Beaver Crossing the Saturday following the storm to help the community’s 400 residents.

Some SCC employees who live in the Beaver Crossing and Cordova areas also were victims of the May 11 tornadoes.

“On behalf of the residents in the Cordova/Beaver Crossing and surrounding area, I would like to express our gratitude for the generous assistance offered by volunteers in the last few days and in the days to come,” said Lester Breidenstine, chairman of SCC’s Diesel Technology-Truck and Diesel-Ag Equipment Service Technology programs. 

Volunteers are still needed in Beaver Crossing, and opportunities to help will occur Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7. Both days, tombstones need to be reset in the Beaver Crossing Cemetery.

Breidenstine’s own six-acre pasture is in need of being cleaned up from trees and metal thrown about.

Wednesday in Beatrice, 40 students from SCC’s Agriculture Business & Management Technology program cleaned numerous properties within the city, according to Program Chair Annie Erichsen. 

“They hauled a lot of stuff and moved it from ball fields and Beatrice Country Club,” Erichsen said. “Our students are pretty strong and are a pretty powerful force.”

The primary cause of the damage in Beatrice was high straight-line winds.

“There were a lot of trees and branches down,” Erichsen said.

She said students worked for approximately five hours and “wanted to give back to the community.”


For more information contact:
Stu Osterthun
Administrative Director of Public Information and Marketing