Flooding in wake of 'bomb cyclone' threatens Nebraska nuclear plant

Nellie Chapman
March 17, 2019

"Residents are urged to move to higher ground now".

The National Weather Service predicted risky flooding would continue through the weekend in Nebraska and in south and west central Iowa, particularly along the Missouri River.

Parts of Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska are grappling with the aftermath of a powerful "bomb cyclone" that turned some areas into swamps as rivers spilled over highways and residential areas. Rain and ice jams are causing the localized flooding.

"Things are moving and changing at a rapid pace", Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson said Friday at a news conference.

Becker noted that a Notice of Unusual Event was declared at 5:46 a.m. on Friday after the Missouri River reached 899 feet.

Early Friday afternoon, the Missouri State Highway Patrol closed Interstate 29 at USA 136 near Rock Port, Missouri, and north to the Iowa border due to flooding conditions.

"We are closely monitoring the situation".

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The Missouri River was still rising on Saturday evening, local TV station KMTV reported, with a record crest of more than 47 feet expected early on Tuesday in Brownville, Nebraska, about 70 miles south of Omaha in the eastern corner of the state.

According to a news release, the Missouri River's level at the location of the nuclear power plant had climbed to 42.5 feet, or 899.05 feet above sea level.

While Gavins Point is releasing water this spring, Watson said the source of this week's flooding is coming below the dam. A wind advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Wednesday, and a high wind watch is in effect from 9 a.m. -7 p.m. Thursday.

Moderate to major river flooding across parts of the MS and Missouri river valleys may also persist into the weekend. The National Weather Service in an updated outlook Friday said "significant" snowmelt flooding is likely in the valley. More than 25,000 homes and businesses were still without power Friday in Colorado, mostly in the Denver area.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an emergency disaster proclamation and activated the state emergency operations center Thursday.

When a flood alert is in place, residents are advised to prepare a bag containing medicines, insurance documents and other important items, and to check for flood warnings.

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