Nebraska students help communities recover from flooding

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FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — University of Nebraska students are beginning to work in several communities through a summer service program that was created in the wake of this year’s devastating flooding.

The program projects are varied and include documenting flood damage to roads and bridges, and developing multilingual disaster recovery materials to help with landscape design and GPS mapping.

“Our commitment to Nebraskans from the beginning has been that the University of Nebraska will be a partner for as long as it takes for our state to rebuild,” said Chuck Hibberd, dean and director of Nebraska Extension. “Our students have a wealth of knowledge and an eagerness to serve. The flood serviceship program is a perfect opportunity for them to gain real-world experience in meeting the needs of our communities.”

The Fremont Tribune reported that 24 students representing the Kearney, Lincoln and Omaha campuses are helping 14 communities, with more students being placed as the university matches students’ skills with local needs.

Alyssa Spartz, an emergency management major at the Omaha campus, is helping organize an event celebrating volunteers who helped rebuild the Washington County Fairgrounds in Arlington. The fair is scheduled to open July 26.

“Unfortunately, individuals across the county may not realize the major impacts the flooding caused and the amount of time, resources and effort it will take to recover,” Spartz said.

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The flood recovery service jobs run a maximum of 10 weeks and 40 hours per week, and are based on a student’s schedule and a community’s needs. Students are paid $12.50 an hour and may be able to earn college credit for their work.

Students engaged in the program come from several study areas, including agriculture, business administration, communications and engineering.

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