Floodwaters Reach Past North Platte Early This Week
Records have been set in many areas in western Nebraska as floodwaters from Colorado filled the South Platte River. Most communities were able to prepare for possible flooding and have thus far avoided any major issues.
Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Dan Guenther says early warnings and the building of flood barriers helped avoid an evacuation order for 20 people in the town of Hershey.
Cory Martin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in North Platte, says the river flooded a local golf course, and the North Platte Police Department noted the closing of several intersections due to backed up storm drains.
City workers were able to cap the storm sewers and pump the excess water out of the city, leaving the streets virtually dry by Monday morning.
The National Weather Service says the South Platte rose to a record of 14.36 feet early Monday morning, rising above the 14 feet originally reached in June 1935.
The South Platte declined slightly to 14.1 feet by 8 a.m. Monday. The gauges upstream from North Platte showing that the water flowing in from Colorado has started to decline.
The National Weather Service is now warning people who live near the Platte River east of North Platte to Grand Island to prepare for possible flooding.
The floodwaters are expected to reach Kearney around Monday evening. Flood warnings end at Grand Island, where the water level is forecasted to reach 6.7 feet by Thursday.
Experts are urging everyone to avoid contact with the floodwaters as they are contaminated and may contain dangerous debris.