Refurnished Thoughts

Discover Vintage America - APRIL 2019

Nature takes its toll again

by Leigh Elmore

Our hearts go out to the ranchers, farmers and townspeople throughout the upper Midwest who have been affected by the tremendous flooding during the last month. Reports coming from northern Nebraska were dire as we were going to press.

Hwy. 281 is washed out in Niobrara, NE. (photo courtesy office of Gov. Pete Ricketts)

According to a report in the New York Times, in Holt County, NE, Jerry Kohl, a rancher with 1,600 mature cows and 5,000 yearlings, lost dozens of cows over the past week, a loss in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. As he looked across his 30,000 acres on Monday, he saw more water than dirt. Kohl is just one of many ranchers affected.

As much as 70 percent of the land in Holt County is flooded, he said; the roads and bridges to the south and north are washed-out. Farmers and ranchers also said they had lost miles of fences that pen in their livestock and bales of hay that feed them.

In Knox County, NE, Hannah Sucha, 25, helped coordinate efforts to deliver emergency supplies including minerals, antibiotics and salt blocks to farmers hurt by the floods. Just two years ago, Sucha said, farmers and ranchers in the area were busy donating bales of their hay to ranches in Kansas and Oklahoma devastated by wildfires.

Both Knox and Holt Counties were to be showcased in the 250-mile "Bargain Buyway" this month, giving treasure hunters a chance to discover vintage/used items for sale and to enjoy the rural scenery. The event was of course cancelled because of the devastation in the region, both to livestock, property and human endurance. The results of the flooding will be economically ruinous for more than a few. The effect on the antiques/vintage trade is the least of it.

Waters were beginning to recede in upper Nebraska as the flood waters drained to the Missouri and Platte Rivers and points south. But the effects of the flooding are just beginning to be realized and the losses are estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

The American Red Cross of Nebraska & Southwest Iowa encourages residents who want to help others during these floods to donate to its relief fund. To make a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief: Visit and select 'I want to Support Disaster Relief'. Alternatively, call 1-800-RED- CROSS. Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The United Way of the Midlands is reaching out to local communities through public donations and 100 percent of every donation to the Nebraska/Iowa Flood Relief Fund will be directed to nonprofit programs meeting people's needs.

Donors will have the opportunity to direct their gift to a specific community within Nebraska or Iowa if they so wish. You can text FLOODRELIEF to 41444 or visit to donate now.

Leigh Elmore can be contacted at
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