The story of one of the worst natural disasters in modern Nebraska history will hit the big screen Sunday with a free showing of “And the Floods Came: Nebraska 2019” at TK-Starlite Drive-In in Neligh.
“When we were asked to show this flood video, I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to give something back to the community and also to bring some people back to the drive-in who haven’t been there in a long time,” said Lia Heckert, who manages the local drive-in.
Heckert said gates will open at 6:30 p.m. Sunday with the showing at 8:30 p.m. While the screening is free, those attending are encouraged to support the concession stand on site to cover costs of the showing.
Bill Kelly, who produced the documentary, said he saw tragedy and resolve while putting the film together.
“It’s pretty heartening to see that people still have that strength and resolve under such horrible, sad circumstances,” he said. “There’s a lot to smile about with this program when you hear the spirit of some of the folks who have just decided that they want to get through it and get back to their regular lives.”
While the film documents the flooding all across the state, it begins chronologically and immediately includes Northeast Nebraska, which saw the first damage.
Video and interviews are included from many people in Boyd County, where the Spencer Dam collapsed. It then followed the path of destruction to Knox County with more interviews and footage, including several local individuals like Tony Tschirren of the Nebraska Department of Transportation and Carrie Pitzer, publisher of both the Knox and Antelope County News.
The documentary moves on to the rest of the state with both tragic and heart-wrenching coverage of the historic flooding. In a day-by-day, and at times minute-by-minute account of the March flooding, NET News documents the stories of survivors, first responders and local communities.
Dramatic video and still photographs capture the aftermath and heartbreak shared by Nebraskans who witnessed dramatic rescues and horrific damage from failed dams and rushing water that carried huge slabs of ice.
“That human capacity to rise to the challenge is pretty remarkable,” Kelly said.