Kearney underwater after heavy rains
KEARNEY - Major highways were shut down Tuesday morning after heavy rains in central Nebraska overnight.
The video above is from Kearney, which saw up to 6" of rain overnight.
City officials say Second Avenue south of 11th Street in Kearney is closed because of flooding as water levels continue to rise. In addition, many areas in south Kearney have water over the roads due to rivers in the area flooding over their banks and backing water into city streets.
Widespread evacuations are underway, including at hotels on the south side of town. Rescue officials spent their morning using airboats to rescue stranded residents and motorists.
Sandbagging efforts have begun.
Yanney Heritage Park and the Peterson Senior Activity Center are also closed today due to flooding.
Driving is not recommended. In addition to the city road closures, U.S. Highway 30 is shut down between Elm Creek and Kearney. The Kearney exit off of Interstate 80 is also closed.
The amazing thing is, Kearney didn't even see the worst of the rain. A weather station near Loomis recorded 8.88" overnight. 8.38" was reported southwest of Hildreth. Riverdale checked in with 7.66" north of Kearney, while Bertrand and Cozad both saw over 6.5".
That rain has to go somewhere, prompting weather officials to warn that some riverbanks could swell to levels similar to - if not exceeding - those levels seen in March.
The National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrological Service is forecasting major flooding along the Wood and Platte Rivers this week.
In Gibbon, the Wood River is forecast to crest at 17.7' sometime Thursday morning. That would eclipse the record of 17.3' set this past March in Gibbon.
Further upstream in Alda, the Wood River is forecast to crest at 13.1'. While not a record, that would be very similar to the levels seen during the March floods.
The Platte River southeast of Grand Island is forecast to crest at 7.6' this weekend. That would also be high than the levels seen in March.