Water Swamps Kearney Roads


When it rained, it poured in Kearney. Water swamped roads across the city, leaving many concerned that the sewers simply can't handle the job.

Public works said the systems are working; they just need time to catch up. So drivers should just slow down and be more cautious.

"Hella rain,” said Jordan Hoff, a Cenex gas station clerk.

"You couldn't go without getting in it. It was deep," explained Danita Johansen, a resident of Kearney for 7 years.

"We were basically just hydroplaning," added Nathan Williams, a resident of Kearney for 13 years.

"Downfalls, monsoon style it was like a hurricane in Nebraska," continued Hoff.

Roads practically turned into rivers, but the Department of Public Works doesn't act like it's an issue.

"I don't know that we really have any problems with our roads, like yesterday’s rain it just came so fast," explained Director Rod Wiederspan.

Some areas saw up to three inches of rain within twenty minutes. "That amount of rain that quick, our storm sewers are just not designed to handle that much water all at once," said Wiederspan.

"It needs more drainage areas because it wasn't handling it at all," Johansen said.

Officials said the current sewers can withstand most of what Mother Nature throws at them, plus it would cost too much for the city to upgrade the entire system.

"We didn't close any streets yesterday even though some of them were fairly deep," said Wiederspan. He adds there was no property damage reported, but storms similar to yesterday's have caused trouble.

"His engine flooded when he was driving over a puddle... It just stopped his car, flooded his engine. It basically fried his engine and totaled his car," explained Hoff.

Public Works said outside lanes are designed to handle extra water so they advise driving on the inside lanes. If you see any areas with drainage problems, contact your local public works department.