Officials Keeping An Eye On Flood-Prone Areas Ahead Of Expected Rain

It isn't just potholes that are causing concern in the area. With all of the melting snow and rain, area rivers are threatening to spill over their banks.

John Winkler with the Papio-Missouri River NRD tells NewsRadio 1110 KFAB that they are on flood watch. "We are continuing to monitor. Our biggest concern right now is the rain Tuesday trough, I think, Thursday. Forecast is for 2-3 inches and possible 3 to 4 up in the Norfolk area, which puts the Elkhorn River into play a little more. Once we start getting these heavier amounts of rain, that's when we get a bigger possibility of ice jams forming and causing some serious flooding. So, we're keeping our fingers crossed."

Winkler says that heavy rain could mean they may have to start breaking up ice dams that form to try and curb major flooding. "We have notified our explosives contractor. So once we mobilize them, they have six hours to get everything ready and to start dynamiting if we need to. So we're preparing for the worst and we're hoping for the best, as always."

Although a number of rivers, including the Big Blue, Missouri and Loup, could see flooding, they aren't the biggest concern. "It's the Platte and the Elkhorn. And the reason we kinda are worried more about the Elkhorn now is because it will be heavier rains up in that basin that feeds the Elkhorn. So, now we're worried about both."

Winkler says it isn't just lowland area flooding that is a concern. "If the flooding gets near the tops of the levees around Camp Ashland, the City of Lincoln and Omaha's well fields, MUD's well fields out west, that's when we start getting some serious type of damages. So that's what we're trying to avoid. There will be some lowland flooding, regardless. There seems to be every year."

For anyone that may be in flood-prone areas, Winkler says to be prepared. "We're encouraging people to pay attention to the forecast and to elevate their belongings that are valuable and that they want to save. And then also, be prepared to evacuate as soon as possible. Just please make sure that they have everything secured and they're ready to go because it will happen very quickly. Once it does start happening, there isn't always a lot of time to move."

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