Significant flooding disaster in progress in eastern Nebraska

Dan Robinson

WxLibrary Editor
Staff member
Jan 14, 2011
2,270
1,799
21
St. Louis
stormhighway.com
A 1993-level flood, exacerbated by ice jams, is currently in progress in eastern Nebraska, with massive infrastructure damage across a large area. Most of the problems are on the Missouri and Platte Rivers and their tributaries. The Missouri is expected to crest above record levels as far south as Booneville, MO - and that is exceeding the 1993 flood crests.

The DOT site shows the road closures:

https://hb.511.nebraska.gov//#roadReports?timeFrame=TODAY&layers=allReports,roadReports,winterDriving,otherStates

Bridge and road damage is widespread, and it appears it will take months if not years to completely rebuild.

Some Twitter posts:

Highway 281 bridge destroyed near Bristow (near the SD border):
https://twitter.com/BenSasse/status/1106995473271934976

Dam destroyed near Spencer:
https://twitter.com/fredmknapp/status/1106646002885447682

I-680/I-29 interchange north of Council Bluffs, IA (Omaha metro):
https://twitter.com/heady_chris/status/1106966295956914176

Beatrice:
https://twitter.com/AlecciJosh/status/1106975395356856321

De Witt:
https://twitter.com/AlecciJosh/status/1106974502389460993

Louisville:
https://twitter.com/EXTREMECHASER/status/1106971204215169024

Highway 81 at Columbus:
https://twitter.com/NSPTrooperCook/status/1106936020942155776

Damage and large ice chunks at Niobrara:
https://twitter.com/thosewholove/status/1106411318121246720
 
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JeremyS

EF2
Mar 12, 2014
150
157
11
Omaha, NE
I live here in Omaha, Nebraska, and while I haven't personally been affected, this has been been devastating for the state of Nebraska. I never in my wildest dreams thought it would get this bad. My sister lives near the Platte over by Columbus, and came very close to having to evacuate. Her husband's uncle had to be air lifted off of his roof though. Hwy 15 south of Schuyler has been washed away and that is the road that runs by her house. The waters have started to come down right around Omaha and points to the north, but the flooding will continue for most of this week south of here, especially along the Missouri River.
I know many of you know Mike Hollingshead. He put together a great page of information on the flooding.
https://stormandsky.com/2019-nebraska-flood

On a side note and much less important note, the damages to roads will presumably last throughout the chase season so definitely something to be mindful of if chasing in Nebraska later this spring. Some major highways have been severely damaged or wiped out along with multiple bridges and county roads.
 
Dec 29, 2007
12
0
0
I live here in Omaha, Nebraska, and while I haven't personally been affected, this has been been devastating for the state of Nebraska. I never in my wildest dreams thought it would get this bad. My sister lives near the Platte over by Columbus, and came very close to having to evacuate. Her husband's uncle had to be air lifted off of his roof though. Hwy 15 south of Schuyler has been washed away and that is the road that runs by her house. The waters have started to come down right around Omaha and points to the north, but the flooding will continue for most of this week south of here, especially along the Missouri River.
I know many of you know Mike Hollingshead. He put together a great page of information on the flooding.
https://stormandsky.com/2019-nebraska-flood

On a side note and much less important note, the damages to roads will presumably last throughout the chase season so definitely something to be mindful of if chasing in Nebraska later this spring. Some major highways have been severely damaged or wiped out along with multiple bridges and county roads.
For the purposes of this board, the second paragraph is quite important, and I say that as somebody who could smell the flood water from my residence for the last week, so as to not to be too heartless. Somebody with a louder voice than me should broadcast this second paragraph EVERY time there is a risk in northern/northeastern Nebraska this year. Every bridge crossing the Niobrara for well over 100 miles (H11, H281, and H12) is out, so that northern edge of Nebraska is a "one side or the other" item for chasing. Gravel roads all over the area are washed out, so what may show up on a map will be of dicey quality at about every turn. Several Loup and Elkhorn River bridges are damaged, too.
 
Jan 16, 2009
502
361
21
Kansas City
From a chase perspective this affects all of us.

Roads closed due to damage or bridges out … you will have to account for that during any chase in this area.
Getting gas also for me at least will be ONLY from stations not in the flooded area.
Possible lodging issues as well.

Probably more but that is off the top of my head.
 
Jan 16, 2009
502
361
21
Kansas City
From a chase perspective this affects all of us.

Roads closed due to damage or bridges out … you will have to account for that during any chase in this area.
Getting gas also for me at least will be ONLY from stations not in the flooded area.
Possible lodging issues as well.

Probably more but that is off the top of my head.
This might be a concern on Wednesday ... Does anyone know of a reliable site that shows roads that are closed or bridges out?
 
Apr 18, 2010
182
12
11
Grand Island, NE
nnwx.us
This might be a concern on Wednesday ... Does anyone know of a reliable site that shows roads that are closed or bridges out?
At the state level there's Nebraska 511, however that's not going to contain any city/county owned roads/bridges. I'm not aware of any one site that aggregates that information. The individual counties may have a viewer. For example, Lincoln has a viewer for Lancaster county that shows roads closed from the flood: https://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/ltu/projects/street-closures/map.htm

But a lot of the rural counties probably won't have interactive maps for what we're looking for, so it's definitely going to be interesting. The county I live in (Hall) has a viewer and there's quite a few county roads still closed, and we weren't as affected as the counties to the east, so I imagine this is going to be a widespread issue for anyone in the area Wednesday.
 
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