Preparations continue in western Nebraska as floodwaters along the South Platte River in Colorado head our way.
A bit of good news has popped up since warnings about potential flooding were issued this past weekend. Floodwaters have not reached Nebraska as early as feared. The predicted flood crest has been lowered.
Still, residents along the South Platte River in Deuel, Keith and Lincoln Counties have been preparing since the weekend, moving property and livestock, getting their homes ready.
Historically heavy rains along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains have flooded nearly 20 Colorado counties, causing widespread damage and killing at least eight people.
The National Guard and rescue teams, some from Nebraska, have been combing the area, attempting to help thousands stranded when floodwaters wiped out roads and bridges.
Floodwaters should soon reach Julesburg, Colorado on the Nebraska border, then pour into Deuel County, working their way through Keith and Lincoln Counties; then, the rest of the state.
Keith County Emergency Manager Pete Peterson says it has been difficult to get a handle on just what to expect. Floodwaters wiped out some gauges along the South Platte. But, officials have received updates from a couple of the gauges still intact.
“They’re saying the maximum height at those two gauges has been re-adjusted and re-adjusted downward by about a half a foot,” Peterson tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Emergency managers still expect widespread flooding over the next few days.
“There will still be a lot of water and flooding, no question,” Peterson says.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency has set up its Mobile Operations Center in Ogallala in Keith County to help local emergency managers respond.
No one expects the destruction and devastation that hit Colorado to take place in Nebraska. No one really knows what to expect.
Peterson says this flood might rival one in 1965 and changes made since then to build I-80 make it hard to predict what impact the flooding might have.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]