August 1, 2014

Western Nebraska warned to brace for flooding along South Platte River

Western Nebraska residents are being warned that flooding in Colorado could spill over into Nebraska.

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Jodie Fawl says local emergency managers are urging residents along the South Platte River to take precautions now.

“So, they’re just asking people to move, whether its livestock or any sort of things that they have stored, to move it away from where it would be in a flood area,” Fawl tells Nebraska Radio Network.

Heavy rains, as much as 10 inches, have fallen in Colorado, causing widespread flooding. The flooding has been devastating. Four people have died. Dams have been washed away. Roads have buckled and collapsed

The National Guard has been called out to help residents stranded by floodwaters.

The flooding comes after a few dry years. Floodwater seeks to move somewhere. If once-dry eastern Colorado cannot contain the excess, it could find its way in the South Platte River.

Fawl says the South Platte could reach flood stage as early as Tuesday.

“But, there are a lot of ifs and I think we’ll know more with the weather on Monday,” Fawl says.

Residents are being urged to move livestock, equipment and property out of low-lying areas.

 

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency has released some flooding safety tips:

· Keep 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. Do not 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.

 

The National Weather Service has released a video to provide the latest river observations and forecasts along the South Platte:  click here to access the video.