Bomb Cyclone Blizzard- Beau & Crystal Klug
Crystal Klug and her husband, Beau, reside near Columbus, NE where they farm corn and soybeans, run a commercial cow/calf herd, have a feedlot, and help operate Klug Trucking (Beau’s dad’s business.) Their home place and feedlot are located on high ground, so going into this storm they prepared like every other time this winter when a storm was forecasted.
The Columbus area received rain when the storm moved in, no snow. That rain caused old snow to rapidly melt, which in turn increased the amount of flood waters. “The flooding in our area is the worst that anyone can ever remember. Columbus is right where the Loup and the Platte River meet and that factor, along with frozen ground, and the buildup of ice chunks made for a perfect storm. It’s astonishing to see the power of water,” said Crystal.
Beau and Crystal’s kids attend a country school along Loseke Creek, Christ Lutheran. Wednesday when the storm hit, they received a phone call from the school mid-morning informing them to pick their kids up as soon as possible due to quickly rising creek waters. School was then canceled Thursday and Friday, and ever since an alternate route has been used to get the kids to school.
Some work will need to be done on farm ground and pasture fence, but overall the Klugs were very fortunate compared to so many others that lost so much. Some of the farm and pasture ground in Platte County will never be the same.
Losses were far and wide across the state, but real heartbreak struck the Klugs and Columbus area when they lost a dear friend due to the flooding. “Our biggest loss was our friend and fellow Cattlemen, James Wilke. Bridges, roads and fence can be rebuilt, but we can’t get back James. Anyone who knew him, knew what he stood for: a man of strong faith, loving husband, father and grandfather, fiercely loyal to his friends, and would put himself in harm’s way to help a stranger. We will all miss him dearly, but it’s up to all of us to step up a little more to fill his void,” said Crystal. Beau had the following words to share regarding the loss of James, “When you lose a member of your community like James, it really doesn’t matter. I’d pick up 1,000 logs out of my land and treat hundreds of calves if James was still here.”
In the past few weeks, the Klugs have been focusing on helping friends, neighbors, and the state itself rebuild. “It will be a long process, but it’s been humbling to see the love, support and outreach from people across the country. Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are so giving. We have given to our friends in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and South Dakota in recent years during their times of need and now it’s been incredible to see them returning the favor. We will get through this together.”