4pm Tuesday Update: On Tuesday afternoon Lincoln and Lancaster authorities gave a briefing on flood conditions.

Jim Davidsaver, Emergency Management, stated Lincoln and Lancaster County is under a flood warning, meaning flooding is occurring or is imminent.  “People who are populated in areas with small streams, need to proceed with caution,” said Davidsaver.

Davidsaver stated the Storm Prediction Center has labeled Northern Lancaster County as a ‘slight’ risk  and Southern Lancaster County as ‘enhanced’ risk for severe weather going forward. “The Weather Service is anticipating severe weather could move into southern Nebraska, including Lincoln and Lancaster County anytime Tuesday Afternoon,” explained Davidsaver.

The possibility of severe weather is expected up through midnight on Tuesday and Davidsaver stated the Emergency Operations Center will be staffed to monitor weather conditions.

Lancaster County Engineer Pam Dingman stated during the morning on Tuesday water levels were rising in the salt creek corridors and has placed both Roca and Greenwood in flood stages. “Sadly, we have had a number of dramatic pipe culvert failures. This is the long-term effects of complete saturation since November, and the soil can not dry out,” expressed Dingman.

Since the flooding in March there are now 62 damaged critical bridges throughout the County, Dingman said, adding “the water levels are too high to do full inspections, however we do have staff out in the County monitoring their conditions.”

The current road closures due to high water include Saltillo between Highway 77 and 27th Street, 38th Street just south of Roy Street in Roca, and SW 2nd Street south of Highway 33 to Hickman is closed. “We wanted to remind everyone that given the pipe failures we are having, there may not be road under that water anymore, so do not drive through high water areas,” urged Dingman.

Lonnie Burklund, Assistant Director of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities, said they try to adopt a three fold approach when inclement weather hits. “Proactive monitoring, staff adjustments, and finally to be nimble and provide quick responses to changing conditions if roadways become unsafe,” explained Burklund.

Burklund said they are looking at their overnight staffing and expect to have staff in their Traffic Management Center and on call for the Emergency Operations Center and as needed. He also urged drivers to watch out for flooding on 84th Street around Havelock as it was closed earlier on Tuesday but has just recently opened. Burklund repeated the need to listen to safety professionals. “If there is water on the surface of a street or rural road way, please do not go through it, the water could be deep enough to carry a vehicle or cause hydroplaning,” said Burklund.

Heavy rains late Monday night and early Tuesday morning raised fears of renewed flooding in Southeast Nebraska.  Lincoln received 1.19″ of rain, officially, between 11 p.m. Monday and 8 A.M. Tuesday.  Reports from individual observers ran much higher in scattered areas.  Creek and river rises began almost immediately.

Salt Creek (shown above) rose nearly 12 feet during the day Monday and early Tuesday in the Lincoln area.  Oak Creek rose just over 9 feet.  Neither was at flood stage.

Lincoln Creek at Seward rose 12.7 feet, just topping the moderate flood stage of 17 feet.

Anyone with property in areas prone to flooding is urged to remain on alert and be prepared t act if continued rain falls in the area.



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