State Farm recalls heroes' stories from 2014 tornadoes

On June 16, 2014, the town of Pilger, Nebraska showed the world what makes a hero, an article State Farm Insurance posted on its website said.

On that day when five tornadoes hit the town, including a rare double tornado, Fire Marshal Kory Koehlmoos headed toward the tornados to manually turn on the town's damaged tornado siren, the article said. He said he knew that if he did not act, town residents would have no warning.

Gene Willers, the local bank president, risked his personal safety for the safety of his co-workers and later said he resigned himself to the fact he probably was not going to survive, the article said.

That day the twin tornado tore down Main Street spewing shrapnel from 73 homes, businesses, a school, grain bins and other agricultural equipment throughout the area.

In the aftermath, more heroes emerged in the form of 16,000 volunteers froml 50 states, the article said. Kim Neiman, Pilger's village clerk, said that without the volunteers, the town could not have moved forward as fast as they did.

State Farm said it funded the purchase of lost computers, projectors and other electronics for the Wisner-Pilger School and helped replace the playground equipment destroyed by the tornadoes.
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