Melting ice and rain continues to cause flooding throughout Dodge County, leading to additional road and school closures, as well as several evacuations between Wednesday and Thursday.
Just before 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, the Dodge County Emergency Management Facebook page announced that the Fremont Volunteer Rural Fire Department is ordering a voluntary evacuation order for the Fremont area due to an ice jam break that could see a potential surge of water on the Platte River of four to five feet. The notification did not name any specific neighborhood, though Lottie Mitchell with the city of Fremont said that those in rural areas along the Platte River should seek higher ground.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency for residents along the Platte River from Schuyler to Ashland due to the ice jam.
The North Bend Fire Department also ordered a voluntary evacuation order for the city of North Bend.
The city of North Bend has designated the North Bend School as an emergency shelter. In Fremont, the American Red Cross opened a shelter at the First Lutheran Church on 3200 Military Avenue to house evacuated or displaced individuals.
In a press release, the Red Cross noted that anyone displaced from their homes should come to the church, bringing each family members prescriptions and emergency medications; food that meet unusual dietary requirements; identification to show residence is in affected area; extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items; supplies for children and infants, like diapers or formula; and special items for elderly or disabled family members.
If choosing to evacuate, the Dodge County Emergency Management Office recommends that you do the following before leaving: Gather all individuals, Gather all pets, gather only essential items, bring essential medications with you, turn off all appliances and lights and lock your home before leaving.
More evacuations occurred throughout Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. Dodge County Sheriff’s Department shared pictures on Facebook of evacuations of Emerson Estates just before midnight on Wednesday. And just after 2 a.m. on Thursday morning, the sheriff’s office reported that Inglewood was under a voluntary evacuation. On Wednesday, Dodge County Emergency Manager Tom Smith confirmed with the Tribune that Winslow’s fire chief had met with residents and recommended that they consider evacuating.
Woodcliff Lakes also evacuated last night, beginning just after 1:30 a.m., according to head of Woodcliff Security George Wolsleben.
“It breached about a half mile of our riverbank and flooded into the lake,” Wolsleben said. “We only had a couple houses that were affected, that actually water went through them, and I don’t know the extent of the damage there yet.”
Evacuated Woodcliff residents were taken to the community center, and then eventually to the auditorium in Cedar Bluffs. But after the water receded, residents were allowed to re-enter their homes.
Several roads are also closed in the area, according to Nebraska 511, including: U.S. 30 between North Bend and Fremont; U.S. 79 from North Bend to Snyder; U.S. 275 from West Point to Scribner; U.S. 77 from Nickerson to Winslow and from County Road G to U.S. 275; U.S. 91 from Nickerson to Blair; and U.S. 30 from Arlington to Kennard.
To stay up to date on road closures, visit www.511.nebraska.gov or dial 511.
Logan View Public Schools, North Bend Central Public Schools, Scribner-Snyder Public Schools and Cedar Bluffs Public Schools were all closed on Thursday as those areas faced poor road conditions due to flooding.
On Wednesday, the county was reporting rough conditions on county roads, with many closings. Dodge County Emergency Manager said yesterday that most roads around Maple Creek and basically anything east of Highway 79 was likely closed or difficult to travel over.
Pebble Creek near Scribner peaked at 30.82 feet at 9:30 Wednesday night according to the National Weather Service. The most recent observed values show it at 20.54 feet at 10:45 a.m. Thursday morning, still well over its flood stage of 18 feet. The record of 24.48 feet was set on August 5, 1996.
Maple Creek by Nickerson was observed at 17.23 feet at 9:45 Thursday afternoon, just above major flood stage. The creek is forecast to crest at 17.3 feet at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Logan Creek at Uehling reached 20.5 feet at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday and is at 20.03 as of 11:15 a.m. Thursday. The creek is forecast to reach 20.5 feet by 1 a.m. Friday morning. Flood stage for the creek is 18 feet. The record of 20.86 feet was set Feb. 20, 1997.
The Elkhorn River near Winslow was observed at just above flood stage at 17.97 feet at 2:45 Thursday morning. It is forecast to reach 22.5 by 1 a.m. Friday morning. The record is 20.4 feet and was set on June 5, 2010. At West Point, the Elkhorn River reached 17.65 feet at 11 p.m. Wednesday night and dropped to 17.08 feet at 11:31 Thursday morning. Flood stage there is 12 feet.
The Platte River at North Bend was observed at 9.31 feet at 8:15 Wednesday evening and is forecast to reach 11.1 feet by 1 a.m. Friday morning. Downriver at Leshara, the Platte was observed to be at just over 7 feet at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday and is forecast to reach 10.2 feet by 7 a.m. Friday night. Flood stage at both locations is 8 feet.
Wahoo Creek near Ithica 21.52 feet at 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning, just below moderate flood stage. It is forecast to recede to below flood stage of 19 feet by 7 Friday tonight. The record of 23.22 feet was set on August 2, 1959.