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LOUISVILLE – Rising waters from the Platte River has forced the closure of the Louisville State Recreation Area on Thursday, creating what seems to be one big lake out of the numerous smaller lakes there, according to a city official.

As of 2 p.m., waters had also reached the boundary of a nearby trailer court, which like the park is north of Nebraska Highway 50, according to city spokeswoman Cheryl Gaston. All residents have been evacuated, she said. The highway itself has remained open, she said.

According to the National Weather Service in Valley, Neb., the Platte River reached a height of 11.47 feet at 2:15 p.m., but decreased to 10.72 feet at 4 p.m.

At 11 a.m., the National Weather Service issued a flash-flood emergency for residents along the Platte River from Schuyler to Ashland. Residents along the river in this emergency area needed to evacuate immediately, the alert said. Louisville is down river from Ashland.

According to Cass County Commissioner Janet McCartney, residents who live north of the railroad tracks in the Buccaneer Bay housing area have been requested to evacuate by the county’s Emergency Management agency.

McCartney also said that county roads officials have been monitoring roads and bridges throughout the day and that all bridges seem to be in normal shape and roads are open.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department urges motorists to use caution when traveling through low areas. Melting snow coupled with rain has created flooding in many parts of the county. Just a few inches of water can impact a vehicle’s ability to navigate, cause it to stall, or even float it. Should motorists encounter water over a roadway, they should never drive through it, but turn around, the department said.

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