Emergency managers in western Nebraska are working with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency to prepare residents for possible flooding.
Officials believe the heavy rains in Colorado, which have closed highways and caused evacuations, could send water outside river banks in Nebraska as early as Tuesday.
"Overgrown, dry riverbeds could lead to flooding outside of usual channels because of debris and overgrowth," explained Earl Imler, NEMA response and recover section manager. "It's very possible with the amount of rain Colorado has experienced, and the predictions for continued rain along the South Platte River, that Nebraska could experience flooding next week. We want everyone to be prepared."
Businesses and residents with land along the South Platte River are being asked to prepare for possible high waters.
"Moving livestock and property away from the river is essential," said Ron Leal of Region 21 Emergency Management.
"We're getting ready, just in case," said Dan Guenthner of Lincoln County Emergency Management.
Guenthner says it is essential to stay out of flood waters. He warns that people shouldn't try to boat or swim in the fast moving flood waters.
Officials also had these tips to stay safe in possible flood conditions:
- Stay informed. Listen to the television or radio, or search the Internet for information and instructions.
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
- If instructed to do so, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves.
- Disconnect electrical appliances. But don't touch electrical equipment if you are standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
- Health officials urge you to avoid flood waters, even if they look safe. Water can contain sewage, debris, bacteria and other items.