May 29, 2015

Flooding prompts evacuations with more rain in the forecast

Flooding in Deshler

Flooding in Deshler

Residents in 169 homes in the west part of Fairbury were evacuated yesterday because of rising floodwaters.  The 110 residents live in homes located west of railroad tracks.  The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency reports 26 people were housed at the American Lutheran Church.

Endicott evacuated a brick yard manufacturing facility.

In Saline County, Dewitt had four or more feet of water throughout the town, and the village board and fire chief instituted an overnight curfew, which is to be lifted at 8 a-m.  Every home in the community has water in the basement and there was a report of one basement collapse.  No injuries have been reported.

Officials used two volunteer fire department trucks and a Plymouth volunteer fire department truck to help conduct a voluntary evacuation.   The village also used a loader to pull small boats, helping to evacuate residents.

In Thayer County, Parkview Nursing Home and a half dozen homes were flooded in Deshler.  Officials evacuated 43 people to Deshler Public School.  Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services officials were assessing needs of other assisted living facilities.

Public Health Solutions has been monitoring public water systems in communities where flooding has occurred.

Forecasters predict more rain through the weekend for eastern Nebraska with the potential for more severe weather. In the panhandle, snow is likely, with higher elevations facing six to eight inches of snow by Sunday night.

By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice



Gov. Ricketts observes storm damage, declares emergency (VIDEO)

Gov. Pete Ricketts got a first-hand, aerial view of the damage left in the wake of the tornado that hit Roseland Wednesday evening.

Ricketts flew over the area in a State Highway Patrol helicopter, observing damage not only to Roseland, but also Hebron and Deshler.

Ricketts saw the damage in and around Roseland as a tornado swept through the southeast part of the small community near Hastings.

“Saw where the tornado had started south of the city, had moved into the city, had destroyed a couple of homes and damaged several others,” Ricketts tells Nebraska Radio Network.

Residents of the Parkview Haven Nursing Home in Deshler had to be evacuated as floodwaters swamped the facility.

Ricketts declared an emergency in wake of the storms, making state resources available to local officials responding to the aftermath. The National Guard has been activated to respond to emergencies, such as the numerous road closings throughout south-central and southeast Nebraska.

“I suspect with some of the stuff that is going on with the roads that may be one of the potentials there that we will have to help some of the communities,” according to Ricketts.

Ricketts says there’s a message in the aftermath of this early May storm.

“At this time of year, we have to be very cognizant that we can have severe weather,” Ricketts says. “In particular, flying over Deshler, I saw some cars that had been swept off the side of the road. And it really made me think we really need to make sure people know they should not try to mess with floodwaters. Where we had the utility lines down in Roseland, people should not go near downed utility lines. We need to be respectful of Mother Nature here.”

Floodwaters close numerous roads in Nebraska

NDOR camera shot of US 77 near Roca Thursday morning

NDOR camera shot of US 77 near Roca Thursday morning

Flooding brought on by the severe weather which roared through Nebraska has made a number of highways impassable this morning.

The Nebraska Department of Roads and the Nebraska State Patrol closed several highways due to high water.

Both NDOR and NSP remind motorists not to drive around road closure barricades or attempt to driver through floodwaters.

The following roads are closed:

Exit 409 off I-80, Lincoln area, near Waverly exit, closed due to flooding on Highway 6

Highway 81 at Mile Marker 11 Both Directions at Hebron

Highway 77 South of Highway 33 at Crete corner

Highway 136 at Mile Marker 125 west of Hebron near Ruskin

Highway 53 between Highways 4 and 136 near Alexandria

Highway 63 at Mile Marker 4.97 North of Alvo Road

For updated information and current road closures, please check 511. Click here for the 511 website.


Tornado swipes Roseland, at least 13 homes damaged or destroyed

Roseland NE tornado

Click the image to view footage of the tornado. WARNING: Video contains some strong language.

This home was blown off its foundation.

This home was blown off its foundation.

Residents and first responders are on clean-up duty after a tornado tore through the small village of Roseland yesterday afternoon in south-central Nebraska’s Adams County.

Fire chief Randy Klein said three homes were destroyed and another ten others were damaged in the storm. Thankfully, Chief Klein says, no one was seriously hurt.

“We can rebuild and clean up,” Klein says. “Now, if we can keep people out so someone doesn’t get hurt is the main thing until we get it all cleaned up.”

The storm ripped through town, southwest of Hastings, at about 4:20 yesterday afternoon with almost no warning. Klein describes having very little time to alert residents.


One of at least three buildings in town that was demolished.

Klein says: “I got a phone call and was a mile and a half out of town, come in and hit the siren…so the siren was probably blowing a good minute before (the tornado) hit town or maybe a little longer.”

Power was out for much of last night as crews worked to clean up.

Roseland resident Kelly Timm describes the moment the storm hit.

“My kitchen is on the north side of the house and the storm came from the south side and it sounded like a big freight train,” Timm says. “I didn’t hear the sirens, it was so loud. All I saw was the building explode and the trailer go across the railroad tracks.”

Timm emerged from the mess and her mind turned to helping others:

This semi-truck trailer was tossed by the twister like a toy.

This semi-truck trailer was tossed by the twister like a toy.

“After the storm left, we went around the corner and saw that my neighbor, an elderly lady, her house had shifted off the foundation,” Timm says. “We went in and found her — she’s okay.”

Debris could be seen scattered throughout Roseland and the outlying areas. A tractor trailer was picked up and tossed across the railroad tracks on the south side of the village.

Elsewhere through town, garages were leveled, trees uprooted and power lines were down in the street. Fire Chief Klein called it the worst storm he’s ever seen in Roseland.

Shredded trees and a garage that barely survived.

Shredded trees and a garage that barely survived.

Story and photos by Brandon Peoples, KHAS, Hastings


Severe weather hits Nebraska, tornado does damage

21853506_SA[1]Another round of severe weather hit Nebraska Wednesday evening, with one confirmed tornado touching down in Adams County, southwest of Hastings.

Radar indicated other tornadoes in southeast Nebraska. The city of Lincoln sounded the tornado sirens shortly after 8:30pm when skies seemed extremely threatening.

The tornado in Adams County damaged some homes and outer buildings near Roseland, a small, rural community. Local officials report a couple of people suffered minor injuries.

The National Weather Service reports the tornado touched down after four o’clock.

The Weather Service also said citizens reported a tornado on the ground in Nuckolls County.

A strong storm system moved across the state from west to east, bringing high winds and heavy rains as well as the reports of tornadoes.