Nebraska Declares State of Emergency After Flood and Storm Damage

Parts of Nebraska saw over 8 inches (200 mm) of rain in 24 hours yesterday, 07 May 2015. Storm and flood damage has been so severe that Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts declared a State of Emergency for the affected areas.

The Governor surveyed storm damage and flooding in Hebron, Deshler, Roseland, and near Lincoln via helicopter. Following the flight he said, “I have authorized an emergency declaration. At this time the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency is in contact with other state agencies and they are actively monitoring the situation and will provide assistance as needed.”

“The good news is nobody was hurt and everybody is safe. Utility crews are out there working. We did have a power outage last night in about a third of the town. As we flew over the state, we saw more utility crews continuing to work to restore power to folks in Roseland.”

Other affected areas include the town of DeWitt and the city of Fairbury, where 100s of people have been evacuated. The town of Crete saw 8.10 inches of rain fall in 24 hours. Salt Creek and Little Blue River are reported to be at flood stage at several points in the area.

Deshler, Nebraska, flood damage 07 May 2015. Photo: Nebraska Governor's Office
Deshler, Nebraska, flood damage 07 May 2015. Photo: Nebraska Governor’s Office

Lincoln Evacuations

Heavy rainfall cause severe flooding in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska. As much as 6.65 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Lincoln Airport between 06 and 07 May 2015.

The mayor’s office of Lincoln issued a statement last night encouraging residents to evacuate flood-hit areas of the city. The statement said:

“Public safety officials are advising residents in the North and South Bottoms neighborhoods to voluntarily evacuate as soon as possible. The affected area is bordered by Folsom, 8th, Van Dorn and Cornhusker. Salt Creek is getting close to topping the levee as other creeks drain into it”.

The American Red Cross set up two shelters in Lincoln to house those evacuated. The mayor’s office warned that mandatory evacuations may follow, depending on the flood situation.

“The Salt Creek levee has not been topped. The next 24 hours will be critical. If the creek tops the levee, a mandatory evacuation may be necessary.”

Several people had to be rescued from flood waters. There were also reports of cars floating along roads and highways. No deaths have been reported.

Nebraska Rainfall

Below is a map showing official rainfall figures from NOAA / NWS for the area.

Image: NOAA
Image: NOAA

Rainfall figures from CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network) for a 24 hour period to 07 May 2015 show further extreme levels of rainfall. These figures are considered supplemental and are not official NWS figures.

Fairbury 10.47″
Wilber 9.85″
Daykin 9.60″
Hallam 8.10″
Tobias 8.02″
Lincoln 7.71″

Oklahoma Flood Death

Severe thunderstorms, floods and early 40 tornadoes have been reported in the Plains from Texas to Nebraska. Oklahoma suffered record rain and flash floods earlier this week. Since then it has been reported that a woman has drowned in flooding in her home in the Oklahoma City metro area.