The following questions were asked recently on the Wonderline:

Q: At the last city council meeting, the city administrator said the funds from the first phase of the downtown revitalization project have been allocated. Will there be a second phase?

A: Yes, the funds from the first phase have all been allocated.

And yes, there may be an opportunity for a second phase – if awarded, that could provide more money for downtown businesses to utilize in revitalizing their properties.

According to the chamber of commerce, “our office was informed there is another phase of funding that we could apply for. The downtown revitalization committee met last week and we are all on board with pursuing this next phase. There may be more funding available to assist those who were unable to take advantage of the first phase. We will be submitting an application to the Department of Economic Development and it was recommended that we include pre-applications from downtown property owners. If you are interesting in submitting a pre-application for DTF funds, please contact Madonna Mogul at the chamber at 402-362-5531 or at madonnam@yorkchamber.org. We are hopeful that the pre-applications will score us a high ranking when the decision makers are reviewing the applications.”

Q: Is there anywhere to take downed tree branches and such?

A: The landfill receives those items.

Q: A few weeks or a month or so ago, there was that lady in town, asking groups of people about what they wanted to see for York. Has there ever been any findings compiled from that week?

A: Actually, we just received a Guest Editorial from Lisa Hurley, executive director of the York County Development Corporation, about this very topic. Please go to the Opinions Page in this Saturday’s publication and you will find her editorial there. She talks about topics discussed and also provides a link to the full report. We will publish more in the future as well.

Q: All the flooding and storms and everything we’ve experienced this year, I’m wondering about other times that Nebraska had to survive despite natural disasters. Can you tell us about some?

A: There are a number of them chronicled in the state’s history.

For example, there was “The Year of the Locust,” in 1874. In the summer of 1874, enormous swarms of Rocky Mountain Locusts descended on this area of the nation, coming in giant black clouds. The locusts were so thick they blocked out the sun for several hours in some places. They consumed everything in their way that summer, from field crops to tree fruits to curtains and other textiles. Some Nebraskans who were faced with starvation actually turned to eating the bugs to survive. Others abandoned their homesteads.

Then there was the blizzard of 1888. Jan. 12, 1888 was unseasonably warm in Nebraska – coming just a week after a bitter cold snap had rolled through. With hardly any warning, a blizzard overtook Nebraska in the early afternoon. Children were still at school and adults were still at work – the extreme blowing snow and freezing temperatures (which were said to crystallize the moisture in the eyes and nose immediately) made visibility next to zero. A total of 235 people died in the storm.

There was the Easter Sunday tornado in Omaha in 1913. Around 6 p.m., on Easter Sunday, 1913, a massive tornado measuring from ¼ mile to ½ mile ripped through Omaha. Experts have rated it as an F-4 and possibly an F-5. On that day, 135 people died and countless homes and buildings were completely destroyed.

The 1948-49 Blizzards go down in history as some of the worst. This was the winter of 1948-1949. The first blizzard arrived in November, dropping 24 inches of snow in some places. Then, on Jan. 2, parts of Nebraska were buried under 100 inches of snow – it is reported that a particular part of Antelope County had drifts reaching up to 30 feet in height. The National Guard was called in to help drop supplies to the hundreds of thousands of people trapped in their homes. The National Guard effort is said to have saved the lives of more than four million head of cattle and rescued over 200,000 stranded people. All told, 76 people died in those brutal winter conditions.

There was also the 1975 Omaha Tornado. At around 4:30 p.m., on May 6, 1975, a tornado touched own in Sarpy County and the moved into Omaha where it would cause massive damage. The path of the tornado extended for approximately 10 miles, decimating hundreds of buildings and severely damaging thousands more. It was recorded as an F-4. It caused three deaths and hundreds of injuries.

And of course, there was the Night of the Twisters in Grand Island, on June 3, 1980. Seven tornadoes terrorized Grand Island and the surrounding areas. The largest of these was an F-4 which leveled everything it came into contact with. The tornadoes were slow moving which gave them plenty of time to be incredibly destructive. Five people died in the storms and hundreds were injured.

Q: If I plant chives, will they come back every year?

A: Chives are perennial, so they will come back each year.


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