Families and businesses impacted by the historic flooding in eastern Nebraska are advised to use caution as they return to their homes and communities. Major to moderate flooding is forecasted to continue through the end of the week.
Use extreme caution:
- Stay away from areas that have been evacuated.
- Do not return home until authorities have advised that it is safe to do so.
- Exercise extreme caution when entering structures.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Avoid flood waters. Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. There may be sharp objects under the water or the road could have collapsed.
- Heed road closure and cautionary signs. Road closure and other cautionary signs are put in place for your safety. Pay attention to them. Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
When you return to your home or business:
- Check for damage. Check for structural damage before re-entering your home. If you suspect damage to water, gas, electric or sewer lines, contact authorities.
- Remove wet contents immediately. Wet carpeting, furniture, bedding and anything else holding moisture can develop mold within 24 to 48 hours. Clean and disinfect everything touched by floodwaters.
- Tell your local officials about your damages. This information is forwarded to the state so state officials have a better understanding of the extent of the damages.
- Plan before you repair. Contact your local building inspections or planning office, or your county clerk’s office, to get more information on local building requirements.
- Take photos of any water in the house and damaged personal property. Make a detailed list of all damaged or lost items.
- Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions. Check Nebraska 511 prior to travel. Ensure water is safe to drink, cook or clean with after a flood. Utility companies often have apps to update you on getting service back.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms when areas are dealing with power outages. Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage. Review generator safety. Avoid disaster areas. Do not visit disaster areas. Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.