In the aftermath of a “bomb cyclone,” Nebraska is experiencing its worst flooding in 50 years, leaving individuals stranded in want of rescue and claiming one life.
James Wilke, a Columbus, Nebraska farmer, was utilizing his tractor to rescue stranded motorists on Saturday and by no means got here house. Wilke, 50, died Thursday when a bridge he was crossing collapsed, CNN affiliate KTIV reported.
His cousin, Paul Wilke, confirmed that James Wilke’s physique was discovered downstream later that day.
Authorities spent Saturday utilizing boats and enormous autos to evacuate residents in components of the state, the place a current deluge of rainwater and snowmelt was despatched pouring over frozen floor, overwhelming creeks and rivers, in accordance with the Associated Press.
In addition to Wilke, two different males are lacking and presumed dead. Scott E. Goodman, 30, of Norfolk, Nebraska was seen at four a.m. Thursday on prime of his automobile close to a levee that failed. It was reported that he was later seen being carried away by a surge of water, in accordance with the Norfolk Daily News.
A second, unidentified man might have been swept away Thursday when the Spencer Dam collapsed on the Niobrara River.
When the dam failed, it triggered a big ice floe to jam a gap in a small electrical plant, the place workers had been working, Norfolk Daily News reported. No different accidents had been reported. The dam failure subsequently led to evacuations of a number of residents residing alongside the river.
By Friday, one-third of Norfolk’s 24,000 residents had been capable of return house, The Weather Channel reported.
Fremont, Nebraska’s sixth largest metropolis, has grow to be “an island” because of the floodwaters, which have breached dams and levees and should power the Cooper Nuclear plant to close down out of an abundance of warning.
Fremont lies roughly 40 miles northeast of Omaha and is house to greater than 26,000 residents. As of Friday afternoon, flooded roadways coming out and in of town had been closed, leaving town lower off, in accordance with AP.
“We are asking people to stay out of the area. We are getting a lot of sightseers, and it’s impeding crew from getting sandbags and fill (material) to where we need to go,” Lottie Mitchell, a spokeswoman for town, advised the Omaha World-Herald.
Mike Wight, the general public data officer for the Nebraska Emergency Management Office, advised The Weather Channel his crew is monitoring flooding in Fremont.
Rescues and evacuations are persevering with all through impacted areas and the rising Missouri River within the city of Brownville, Nebraska, meant officers had been making ready to close down the Cooper Nuclear Power Station, in accordance with a press launch.
Wight advised The Weather Channel there’s “concern” for the nuclear plant, however mentioned it “is perfectly safe.”
“We don’t expect any safety issues but we do expect they will get flooding around them and if it gets too far they will shut it down,” Wight mentioned within the report. “It is something we’re really watching closely.”
He additionally added that nuclear energy crops “are extremely conservative in their emergency plan.”
As the weekend progresses, flood waters are reported to be receding in Nebraska and heading down the Missouri River.
On Saturday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts tweeted his reward of fellow Nebraskans.
“The people of Fremont stepped up today in a major way to help protect their community,” Rickets mentioned. “We will get through this together — neighbor helping neighbor.”
Ricketts additionally tweeted an inventory of the way the general public may also help these troubled by the catastrophic floods.