Country singer Zach Bryan helps clean up Midwestern town ravaged by weekend tornado

Bryan and his band assisted volunteers and residents in an area near where they'll soon play back-to-back tour stops.
Zach Bryan holds a guitar while performing in Chicago.
Posted at 7:44 PM, Apr 29, 2024

Midwesterners left to pick up the pieces after a series of strong tornadoes ripped through their neighborhoods were joined by a familiar yet likely surprising face over the weekend: Country singer Zach Bryan, whom many residents will soon see on stage in their region, was putting in the work alongside them.

The musician was spotted among volunteers and his bandmates helping cleanup efforts in the suburban Omaha, Nebraska, neighborhood of Elkhorn. That's where an EF3-rated twister struck the hardest Friday — one of dozens that raked through the state as well as Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri through Saturday.

It's an area Bryan is no stranger to, having grown up in Oklahoma and lived in Nebraska for "some pretty formidable years" of his life, according to an Instagram post. He's also in the middle of touring there and was playing a show in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday when tornado warnings were issued.

But instead of resting between that show and his next scheduled stop, slated for April 29 in Omaha, Bryan said he and his band wanted to lend a hand to those who were affected by the natural disaster.

"I am so sorry to anyone that is having to deal with picking up the pieces of their homes and their lives," he said in an Instagram post, alongside a picture of the rubble. "Without taking credit from the thousands of people lending a hand who have roots here, we love you so much and we'll do all we can to help."

Images and videos circulated on social media of the musician getting involved in relief efforts, from rummaging through debris to helping lug some of it away.

One resident, Gavin Andersen, told the Omaha World-Herald Bryan's "people" didn't want any photos of his actual work "because he was just there to help. Anderson's mother, Kristi, said she was a fan before but "now even more so" after seeing the celebrity in action.

"How cool is it that he would just show up and start working?" Andersen told the publication. "He was just out there among the people without any fanfare. As the mother of two teenagers, that's the kind of celebrity I want my kids to follow."

Officials are still working to survey the true damages caused by the tornadoes. As of now, at least four people died and more than 100 were injured in the storm outbreak, while thousands have lost their homes or businesses, according to the National Weather Service.