Flooding in parts of the Midwest has left one man dead, forced a National Weather Service office to evacuate and threatens a Nebraska dam and nuclear power plant as heavy rains mixed with a melting snowpack to swell waterways to historic levels.
A portion of Union Dike in Valley, Nebraska, reportedly failed
Flash Flood Warning including Valley NE, Waterloo NE, King Lake NE until 10:15 AM CDT pic.twitter.com/TOPWUXQUQr
— NWS Omaha (@NWSOmaha) March 15, 2019
Friday, triggering a flash flood emergency. Residents in the area were urged to evacuate, including the National Weather Service Omaha, which issued the flood emergency.
- A Nebraska nuclear plant is threatened by the floodwaters
- A dam failed in Spencer, Nebraska, and another dam was at high risk of failing in north-central Nebraska.
- National Weather Service Omaha office was forced to evacuate after a portion of Union Dike failed in Valley, Nebraska.
- A Nebraska farmer was killed trying to rescue a stranded motorist.
- Evacuations were ordered overnight in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Oh my @NWSOmaha is evacuating their office due to flooding
A levee at the nearby Union Dike has failed pic.twitter.com/557jUsr9CX
— Greg Diamond (@gdimeweather) March 15, 2019
An unidentified Nebraska farmer was killed Thursday after the tractor he was using to attempt to rescue a stranded motorist was carried away by floodwaters, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The incident occurred at Shell Creek near Columbus in eastern Nebraska. Meanwhile, Ericson Dam in north-central Nebraska is at high risk of failing as the Cedar River continues to rise, according to a report by the National Weather Service.
Officials in Boone County, downstream from the dam, also warned of the “imminent failure” of the dam, Boone County News reported.
Both agencies are warning impacted residents to seek higher ground.
Water rising and falling rapidly along the Fond du Lac River, as they work to break up the ice jam. Progress leads to moving ice, until it stops, and immediately starts spilling over the banks again.
Live updates on GDW! pic.twitter.com/zSIavXLZvI
— Justin Steinbrinck (@JSteinbrinck) March 14, 2019
In Nebraska, a utility company placed sandbags around a threatened nuclear power plant Thursday as the Missouri River continued to rise, the Omaha World-Journal said in a separate report.
Mark Becker, spokesman for the Nebraska Public Power District, told the newspaper that if the river rises to 45.5 feet this weekend, as projected by the NWS, the Cooper Nuclear Station, which accounts for 35 percent of NPPD’s power, will have to be shut down.
Becker noted that should the plant shut down, DPPD will be able to get power elsewhere, and they don’t expect the closure to lead to outages.
On Thursday, DPPD lost another small electrical plant when the Spencer Dam failed at the Niobrara River and caused a large ice floe to jam a hole in the building. Workers inside the building were uninjured, Becker told the newspaper. The failure also forced the evacuation of dozens of residents along the river.