Column: The Why Behind the Story

The word ‘flood’ is a term most of us are familiar with in elementary school and beyond. As students, we’re taught what a flood is and the kind of damage it can do. What we aren’t taught is the effect it can have on people’s lives, careers, and even health.

The aftermath of the March 2019 flood in Nebraska is still apparent in June and will be for years to come. What we are doing as a team of journalists is a small part of the recovery process. While there are stories of loss, destruction and devastation, there are also stories of triumph, renewal and opportunity.

This flood has shown firsthand the strength and compassion of Nebraskans. Everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve had many scenes of destruction described to us, but almost always followed by words of hope. The future looks bright even though the storm clouds are still present.

“It is really encouraging to see how the communities of Nebraska rally around each other after such devastation,” sophomore journalism student Tim Hofmann said. “If there is a common theme in all of these towns we cover, it is the togetherness of the community, and I think these are the types of stories we need to share.”

The flooding is not done yet. This picture was taken on May 31 in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.

For many of us, we are surrounded by individuals who continue to be impacted. This brings the devastation much closer to home for us. This historic event needs to continue to be covered and shared with the world. Whether the stories are big or small, we want to capture every detail of this large-scale event.

“So many people I care for, and that surround me, were directly impacted and their stories are essential in telling Nebraska’s history,” senior journalism major Dalton Carper said.

Odds are, you know someone who was affected in some way by this flood. For most, the recovery didn’t stop when the water drew back but is still ongoing. It’s our job to tell the efforts still happening and to make sure the lengthy repairs aren’t going unnoticed.

The initial thoughts and prayers may be fading, and the newspapers are no longer filled cover to cover with flood stories, but this doesn’t mean this subject isn’t still close to many people’s hearts.

This is our goal to continue to share the stories of those whose lives have been changed forever.

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