Camp Ashland celebrates new facility reopening following 2019 floods

ASHLAND, Nebraska (Nebraska) — Soldiers at Camp Ashland march around a new facility.

Four years ago, a dam broke, flooding the training ground with flood waters. Camp Ashland was covered in over six feet of water.

“All of our buildings at the site have completely exceeded our flood control measures we have already put in place and caused more severe damage than we have ever seen before,” said Maj. Dustin Young, construction site management officer.

The camp had to be evacuated. All buildings were damaged. When the officials rebuilt the facility, they made sure the buildings were taller.

“The body of water here is about six feet,” Young said. “To get out of the floodplain, you have to build at least a foot, or even two feet higher. The current deck is a little over eight, with a height of about nine feet underneath, so they can do other things underneath. We can get extra space and that allows soldiers to train in inclement weather.”

Camp Ashland is now more efficient, with more than 20 buildings combined into seven.

Camp Ashland is back to doing what it does best – teaching the best in the country – four years after flood waters destroyed more than 20 buildings.

Ashland Center welcomes the news that the camp is back in shape. Mary Siegenbein has run The Gift Niche for over three decades. She says that the training camp and the soldiers are a big part of society.

“They’ve been in town, I think a couple of times already, and they’ve painted our lampposts, they’ve repainted them a few times on the streets downtown, and they come into town to shop, and they’re in our parades, and we really appreciate that, – she said.

They train an average of 2,000 soldiers a year at Camp Ashland and this training continued during the rebuilding.

Flood waters did not interfere with training, and the 1,100-acre historic site is slightly taller than before.

The total cost of the project was $62 million, including civil works, rehabilitation of existing structures, and reinforcement and expansion of the dam along the Platte River.

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