NewsLocal News


Blown away and left behind: Waterloo homeowner faces hurdles getting power back after tornadoes

Posted at 6:48 PM, May 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 19:48:28-04

WATERLOO, Neb. (KMTV) — It's been almost two weeks since Gail Pitzl's two barns and part of her house were destroyed and damaged in the tornadoes on April 26.

Since then, she said the work to get her power back on and her home repaired has been bogged down by red tape.

"Why don't I have power?" said Pitzl. "Why is there not an expedited process to get vital services to homes so we can continue to clean up and at least protect what wasn't taken."

Pitzl said she's been going back and forth with the City of Omaha for days. Last week, the city of Omaha locked her electrical permit because FEMA mandated the city to conduct damage assessments for homes that are in the floodplain like Pitzl's.

KMTV spent the day talking with city officials. I learned that Pitzl's permit was unlocked by the city, Tuesday, after the inspector determined that Pitzl's house is repairable. But this is still just the beginning of her work to rebuild and repair.

"Am I happy we made some headway? Yes, absolutely. Am I frustrated? Absolutely. Am I fearful of the future? You bet," said Pitzl.

Now that the permitting process is more clear to her, she has been able to schedule an appointment with the city as she continues to try to get her power back on.

We know this is a complicated process. If you're having similar issues, KMTV wants to know. Contact us at

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.