Papio NRD officials are preparing for the worst as they monitor potential flooding caused by ice jams on the Platte, Elkhorn and Loup Rivers.
General Manager John Winkler says the potential for heavy rain is not good news. "The big concern is if we get a bunch of rain then it's going to start lifting the ice and start moving that ice and that's when the jamming occurs."
Winkler says they are boring into the ice to see how thick it is. He says this is the first time in his 12 years with Papio NRD that he's seen a major ice jam threat. "We've had minor ones, but they usually broke up themselves."
Winkler says they are ready to deploy helicopters with explosives if they needed "to get things moving and help Mother Nature along."
Winkler says the potential for heavy rain Saturday and next week is very concerning and they are staying in close contact with the National Weather Service and emergency management officials to make sure they are staying on top of the situation.
For now Winkler is hoping rain chances decrease. "We're hoping that we get a slow warm up, not so much rain and we start getting some of this snow and ice melted and thinned out."