Special Group Helps With Beaver Crossing Tornado Cleanup

Bill Steckis BEAVER CROSSING (KPTM)- It has been a week since a tornado wiped out Beaver Crossing. The National Guard and a band of volunteers are in the community of only 500, to help with the cleanup. There is still plenty to do for the hundreds of volunteers, but for twelve of them, made up of first responders and former military personnel from the area, called Team Rubicon, they will not leave until the job is complete. A welcome sign greets all visitors to Beaver Crossing; it stands strong and unblemished, despite the world of devastation that is around it. It is a metaphor, for the strength of the people who live here. The town is getting help from that determined group of individuals. Brian Welsh is a part of Team Rubicon and said, "most of the guys are veterans who have come back from Iraq or Afghanistan and want to figure out a way to continue to serve." There are plenty of ways to do that in Beaver Crossing, there is rubble still falling and trees that need to be hauled away. It is also a chance to do what they do best, and miss most. Chet Bennetts from Denton, Nebraska is also a member of Team Rubicon, "just to be around veterans again. To still have that camaraderie and to be able to do something that's bigger than yourself." They will repair homes, demolish others and simply help in any way they can. "If they don't have insurance or if they are elderly or veterans we want to help those folks," said Bennetts. Two major challenges remain for Team Rubicon, demolition of all the homes that need it and what to do with all the brush. Beaver Crossing was once a heavily wooded area, but has been reduced to tons of brush. For them, it's all about team work. "It's a brotherhood here. There are different brothers I am serving with that I actually served with in the marines and now they are here. They fixed the bent flag pole at the American Legion Post Saturday with a familiar team effort. Sunday it's restored to this," said team member Robert Kugler. "Our mission is to stay until the work is done," said Kugler. The team said it should take a couple of weeks to finish, and that is working just about night and day to get the job done. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency reports 227 homes were damaged. Sixteen homes were destroyed and another 22 had major damage. Business and churches were among the reported damages as well.If you want to volunteer and help with cleanup efforts, contact the Beaver Crossing Fire Hall.