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'We've been incredibly frustrated:' More troubles for Waterloo homeowner

Posted at 10:00 PM, Jun 05, 2024

WATERLOO, Neb — This backhoe is clearing the pieces of trees, the dirt, and the mud that spring storms have left at the Pitzl's property. The only thing growing faster than the debris seems to be the problems for Gail.

"We know we can't live in the house. We need to live somewhere," said Pitzl.

On April 26, a tornado nearly destroyed her home, and she had to move into a hotel for nearly three weeks. Then, she moved into a trailer on her property on May 19, but just two days later, another big storm hit. The roof leaked, water seeped into lighting fixtures, and dripped onto furniture.

"We've been incredibly frustrated," said Pitzl.

That frustration comes from what she calls a hard-to-navigate process to get necessary permits to rebuild. Her permit requests, KMTV learned, are just a few of the nearly 300 and counting the City of Omaha has received since the tornadoes.

"Does this all make you feel hopeless?"

"Hopeless is not a word in my vocabulary these days. I would say irate and angry; driven - because this is wrong," said Pitzl.

Pitzl said she feels like she's back at square one.

"Hotels are fine for a short period of time," said Pitzl. "I have a whole new respect for people who have to travel for their jobs and stay in hotels."

But because she's been on this road before, after losing part of her home in the 2019 floods, she knows how to overcome the problems that seem to only pile up for her and others like her.

Insurance will only pay for a hotel until Monday, June 10.
Pitzl said she's not sure yet where her family will go after.

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