The Missouri River rose to record heights at Nebraska City Saturday morning, and the river is forecast to drop below flood stage by March 24.
As of 10:45 a.m. March 16, the river level was 29.86 feet, more than a foot and a half higher than the previous record of 28.27 feet during the 2011 flood.
The National Weather Service is forecasting the river will crest at 30.2 feet on Sunday, March 17.
Friday afternoon saw the closure of state and federal highways that service Nebraska City. Interstate 29 was closed at Exit 35 after flood waters overtopped a levee near Bartlett. That closure was extended from Council Bluffs to Rock Port on Saturday morning.
Iowa 2 was closed between the Missouri River bridge and Highway 275 on Friday because of flooding.
Other road closures are in effect until further notice. Check 511.nebraska.gov and iowadot.gov for state and federal road closures.
The Emergency Management Office in Fremont County has a list of local roads closed. Visit https://www.co.fremont.ia.us/ and click on the "roads closed press release" link at the top of the page.
In other parts of Nebraska, Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), partner agencies, emergency officials, and volunteers remain hard at work assisting with historically catastrophic conditions statewide.
NEMA is tracking conditions across the state, responding to requests for assistance from local emergency managers and developing a common operating picture to keep local officials aware of the situation.
The State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC) was opened Wednesday and will remain open as long as needed. The SEOC is staffed by officials from NEMA, Nebraska State Patrol, Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska Fire Marshal, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, Nebraska Military Department, and other agencies.
As Nebraskans pull together to support one another in this severe weather event, we encourage people to be cautious of fraudulent donation sites that are beginning to appear on social media. Monetary donations can be made to the Nebraska/SW Iowa Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Safety and Security: Evacuations are taking place throughout the state at this time. Travel is extremely dangerous with conditions changing rapidly. Non-essential travel is not advised.
The levee near Valley has overtopped and is possibly breached, causing water to flood the area. The National Weather Service at Valley has relocated. Confirmation on the condition of the levee is impossible to ascertain due to inaccessibility. Alternative options for inspecting the area are being explored.
All evacuation notices, suggested and mandatory, are STRONGLY encouraged. By ignoring evacuation recommendations, extraction requests made later may be delayed.
Troopers with the NSP have been working with local officials and Nebraska Game and Parks officers on water rescues overnight and into the morning. NSP has deployed two light armored vehicles (LAV) to assist with water rescue in north central and northeast Nebraska. The LAVs are able to reach places that a normal rescue vehicle cannot. Troopers are also being repositioned from less affected areas to the more affected areas to assist with flood response. Additional troopers have also been called in from required days off to assist in these emergency situations.
Urban Search and Rescue-Task Force One, the Nebraska National Guard, and the Nebraska State Patrol are working together to provide water and air rescue missions.
Several state parks are closed due to weather conditions. To find out if a park is closed, check http://outdoornebraska.gov/weatherclosures/
Evacuations (full and partial) as of Friday, March, 15, at 1 p.m.:Beemer Belgrade Cedar Rapids Dannebrog Genoa-Lake Oconee Inglewood-DHHS Call Center Randolph City Auditorium Northern Butler County Eastern Richardson County Pender-Senior Living Broken Bow Senior Center Linoma Beach Norfolk Fremont Hospital Anselmo Lynch Wisner South Bend Middle Island Louisville Trailer Park Cedar Creek along the river Plattsmouth: OMA Fish and Wildlife, Moorehead Island, Beach Road, and low-lying areas Eastern Washington County Beemer (parts of) Pleasanton (parts of) Bucaneer Bay neighborhood Valley Sarpy County Platte and Missouri rivers West Point (western section)
Food, Water, Sheltering: Red Cross reports there are 721 people in Red Cross and partner shelters. Shelters are open in the following places:
Council Bluffs, Iowa (Salem United Methodist Church, 14955 Somerset Avenue)
Bellwood (Bellwood Fire Department, 752 41 Road)
Boelus (CNR Center, 614 Delaware Street)
Columbus (HS- East Central Health Department, 4321 41st Avenue)
Freemont (First Lutheran Church, 3200 Military Avenue; enter Mission Center on NW corner of campus)
Hader(Hader Fire Hall, 101 Front Street)
Missouri Valley, Nebraska (Rand Community Center, 100 S. 4th Street)
Norfolk (Lutheran High Northeast, 2010 N. 37th Street)
Norfolk (Bel Air Elementary School, 1101 N. 18th Street)
Norfolk (Sacred Heart Elementary School, 2301 Madison Avenue)
North Loup (North Loup Community Center, 112 S. B Street)
Pierce (Pierce Fire Department, 106 1st Street)
Plattsmouth (Plattsmouth Community Center, 308 S. 18th Street)
Randolph (Randolph City Auditorium, 119 N. Main Street)
St. Edward (St. Edward City Hall, 1302 State Highway 39)
Several towns are experiencing disruptions in water service. Updates will be included on the NEMA social media accounts.
For veterans affected by the recent flooding in Nebraska, the Nebraska Veterans Aid (NVA) may be able to assist with food, clothing, and emergency housing (i.e. hotel accommodations). Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine the amount of assistance a veteran and/or their eligible dependents would be able to receive. Additional information on the program is available here: https://veterans.nebraska.gov/nva . Veterans should apply for NVA through their County Veteran Service Officer.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has put together a list of disaster relief resources for Nebraska farmers and ranchers seeking assistance due to severe weather. This list includes information about NDA’s Hay and Forage Hotline and programs from the Farm Service Agency. For information go to: www.nda.nebraska.gov/resources.
Energy (Power & Fuel): Cooper Nuclear Station is operating at full power. Officials are placing sandbags in critical locations in preparation for rising water levels. The station has declared a notice of unusual event, but there is no risk to public safety. Officials will continue to monitor the situation.
Communications: The radio tower at Verdigre remains inaccessible; however, the Nebraska State Patrol and other radio operators are able to use cellphones for communications.
Transportation: Interstate 80 is now open; however, road conditions remain dangerous across the state.
Governor Pete Ricketts has issued an executive order temporarily waiving overweight limits to help speed disaster relief response times. A copy of the executive order can be found by clicking here.
Information on road closures can be found on the Nebraska 511 map at https://www.511.nebraska.gov. Nebraska 511 provides the most up-to-date travel conditions. Nebraska 511 can be accessed through the 511 smartphone app or by dialing 511.
The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Highway Helpline is available 24-hours-a-day for motorists in need of assistance. Drivers can reach NSP by dialing *55 from any cell phone or 911 in an emergency.