Massive flooding in Nebraska has caused over $1.3 billion in damage this week with three-quarters of the state’s 93 counties having declared a state of emergency, according to NPR.
Buffalo Bills linemen and former University of Nebraska football players Jeremiah Sirles and Spencer Long tried to do something to lend a hand to the people affected by the devastation. According to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, Sirles and Long organized a dinner Thursday night in Schuyler, Neb., located 75 miles west of Omaha, for first responders and people directly affected by the flooding.
“Me and Spencer are so blessed to have the ability to have a platform like this and go out and do something like this,” Sirles sad. “It is special to us because this is where we call home and it feels like a responsibility to take care of our own.”
Long and Sirles live in Nebraska during the offseason. While their homes and families have not been significantly affected by the flooding, they’ve witnessed many who have had their lives upended by the water.
“It’s the real deal out here,” Long said. “I don’t think the nation really understands what’s going on out here.”
The flooding was caused by heavy rains and snow melt. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts said that an estimated 2,000 homes and 340 businesses were damaged or destroyed by the flooding. Additionally, damages include over $400 million each in damage to roads and levees, crop losses and cattle losses.