It's been quite a year. From flooding to growth to new industry and celebrations — there was plenty of newsworthy happenings in Washington County in 2019.
No one could have foreseen the historic flooding that hit Nebraska in March. Arlington was among the hardest hit areas in Washington County, which led to evacuations and the shut down of major roadways, including U.S. Highway 30.
While it was a hectic period in the year and those affected are still recovering, it was also a time for Washington County to shine. Residents showed why this is one of the best counties in the state to live in as volunteers overwhelmingly responded with donations, showed up for cleanup days and offered any help they could.
Washington County saw its share of tragedy, too.
Two Blair families lost children. Heidy Martinez, 14, was killed in a single-vehicle rollover that also injured five others in July. Jaycoby Estrada, 11, was killed after he was struck by a semi while riding his bicycle at 19th and Washington streets in August.
There was new development as construction continued on the new Washington County Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Center and the new housing subdivision on the former Dana College campus began to take shape. A ribbon cutting was held for the first completed houses in September.
This was also a year for celebrations. The City of Blair, Village of Arlington, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Blair First United Methodist Church and this newspaper marked 150 years, while Fort Atkinson celebrated its bicentennial.
This is a year Washington County residents won't soon forget. Read more about 2019 in a special year in review in the Dec. 31 edition of the Pilot-Tribune.