Farm Bureau - Melissa Wheeler

The North Bend Eagle


Student studying stress from flood

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 1/19/22

Kristin Gaffney is a masters of public health student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health. She is working on her final graduate project regarding stress as related to natural disasters in rural communities.

North Bend residents watch as water fills up a residential street in North Bend. The flood of March 2019 filled most streets and many homes with water causing stress for many.

In 2014 Gaffney and her family and their community of Mayflower, Arkansas, took a direct hit from an EF4 tornado. She and her family of eight took refuge in a saferoom in their home. This room was all that was left of their house.

“As I went through my own disaster stress and recovery experience, our community was also working hard to clean up and recover,” Gaffey said. “It was amazing how people came together to help.”

Gaffney is now an online graduate student at UNMC. She is working with the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health to understand how people in rural and agricultural settings experience stress and recovery in natural disasters, and what kind of things these communities do to support survivors.

She has launched a survey to capture feedback from those who directly or indirectly experienced and recovered from either a major flood as the North Bend area experienced in March 2019, or tornado, as the residents of Pilger experienced in 2014.

Gaffney has a survey she is asking people in North Bend and Morse Bluff to complete about their flood experience and how they dealt with it. It might take 10-20 minutes to complete.

Paper surveys and return envelopes are available are at the Eagle office or online at

The deadline for returning the survey is Jan. 31.


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