PLATTSMOUTH – Floodwaters surged into Cass County Thursday morning as a wave of melting snow made its way down the Missouri and Platte rivers.
The Missouri River at Plattsmouth rose to 32.44 feet Thursday morning, which is the sixth-highest level in recorded history. The entire scope of Schilling Wildlife Management Area was submerged and a campground near the river was underwater. Rapids were running over East Main Street east of the railroad tracks by late morning.
The floodwaters reached historic levels as light rain continued to fall during the morning. The top five levels for the Missouri River at Plattsmouth are 36.73 feet on June 30, 2011; 35.65 feet on July 25, 1993; 34.66 feet on June 14, 1984; 33.08 feet on June 14, 2010; and 32.60 feet on April 18, 1952.
Authorities with Plattsmouth Police Department, Plattsmouth Rescue, Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department and other agencies blocked off East Main Street from traffic. They also spent Thursday morning evacuating several people from the area. A boat traveled to the campground to rescue people who were trapped in their recreational vehicles from the rising water.
Forecasters are expecting the river to soar past 35 feet by this weekend. Ice jams and melting snow from South Dakota, northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa are all expected to send water downstream over the next 72 hours.
The Platte River at Louisville also traveled into rarely-seen territory Thursday morning. The river rose to 11.47 feet at 9:15 a.m. That tied the third-highest mark in recorded history. The river also reached 11.47 feet on March 10, 1993.
The top level for the Platte River at Louisville was 12.45 feet on March 30, 1960. The second-highest mark was 11.90 feet on July 25, 1993.
Forecasters are expecting the river to approach 12 feet by Thursday evening. They are anticipating additional water to flow downstream on the Platte from ice jams and snowmelt up north.
The Weeping Water Creek at Union moved into flooding territory Wednesday night but has since dropped by nearly ten feet. The creek moved from 7.98 feet at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday to 26.75 feet at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday. It had receded to 15.81 feet by 12:15 p.m. Thursday.