GILEAD, Neb. -- The Pioneer Inn restaurant had its roof ripped off Friday during thunderstorms in the area. 

Owner of the restaurant Karen Keilwitz said she found out about the damages from a friend.  

“I was walking the dog before I came down to work and I saw a bunch of trees down,” Keilwitz said. “I didn’t think much of this but a friend of mine yelled out the window and said, ‘Karen, did you see your roof?’ I looked up and went ‘Oh, my goodness. Oh my gosh. That’s all gone.'”

The restaurant had puddles two to three inches high inside from the storm. 

The community came out to support the cleanup efforts. 

“Everybody who came to town started helping out, and if they weren’t dressed properly to help out, they went home and got older clothes and came back to help out,” Keilwitz said.

The Gilead Town Board allowed Keilwitz to serve food at the hall so she wouldn’t have to waste anything. 

She has seen just as much customer support at her temporary location as she did at the restaurant.

“I had over 25 customers just at noon yesterday, so that was pretty good,” Keilwitz said. “People who hear about it come and throw money in the money jar and we also have set up an account at the Union Bank in Fairbury.”

Keilwitz said she appreciates the support of the community who sees the restaurant as a key piece of the town history. 

“It is just amazing and so heartwarming. It makes me cry,” Keilwitz said. “They can send money, they can pray. If they hear that we are having a cleanup day, they can come help. We will have it on our facebook page and they can come and help clean up.”

Anyone who is interested in supporting the clean up process can donate today.