News2019 Flood


Arlington, Washington County race to clean fairgrounds ahead of summer fair

Posted at 11:34 PM, Apr 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-07 00:34:25-04

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) — The community center for all things happening in Arlington, Nebraska has been canceling weddings, graduation parties and all other events due to 3 ft. of water flooding the building.

Washington County is racing to make repairs before its fair later this summer. Volunteers have started cleanup after flooding a few weeks ago.

At least 80 volunteers with groups like the Village of Arlington and Washington County Agriculture Society are washing, drying and cleaning out the Washington County fairgrounds ahead of the fair in July.

Agriculture Society president Jason Cloudt says the Rybin Building is the focus of these recovery efforts.

"It's been pretty heart-wrenching to tell people they can't have their weddings here when they planned on that," Cloudt said.

Inside the building and past tables of cleaning supplies and food, walls have been partially torn out as this building was flooded with 3 ft. of water.

Cloudt says he hopes to have the building back open at the end of April. Many of the volunteers are from Washington County and this fair is a special time of year for them.

But one woman answered the call from 300 miles away.

"It was God telling me, 'you're going to come to Arlington to help at the fairgrounds," Connie Smith of Hays, Kansas said.

The stories and pictures of the flooding in Nebraska inspired her to act. She says she'll be helping a church in Blair and other groups for at least a couple of months.

"You can look at all the pictures, you can hear all the news stories, but that's nothing until you step where these people have had the flood," Smith said.

FEMA will be on-hand in Arlington next week.