2019 midwest flood

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has proposed nearly $60 million in state assistance to help the state recover from last year’s record floods. That proposal includes a surprise $9.2 million boost for a dozen of Nebraska's hardest-hit counties. Ricketts unveiled the plan Wednesday during his annual State of the State address to lawmakers that lavished praise on the citizens and state officials who responded to the disaster. Ricketts says the flood response was “Nebraska's finest hour,” but the disaster put undue pressure on local governments.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doesn't expect to eliminate from its reservoir system all the leftover water from last year's near record runoff that led to massive flooding along the Missouri River. Officials are raising the current releases in expectation of high spring runoff again this year. The Corps' John Remus told the Omaha World-Herald the system needs to make as much space as possible in light of forecasts for warmer than normal weather and higher than normal runoff.

(Brownville, NE)  --  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is announcing a special inspection to be conducted at Nebraska's Cooper Nuclear Power Plant.  The NRC says it will be reviewing the circumstances that contributed to a recent problem with one of the Brownville plant's two service water systems.  According to the federal commission, the Cooper plant was operating at full power on December 6th when the plant operator was unable to establish water flow through a large pipe that discharges water used to cool some of the plant's safety-related equipment.  It was determined that large buildu

Following devastating floods last March, the tiny eastern Nebraska town of Winslow is debating whether to move 100 feet higher to a nearby hilltop or face being washed away in future floods. It’s a choice more riverside communities may face as climate change increases flood risks. Since the creation of a buyout program in 1989, federal and local governments have poured more than $5 billion into buying tens of thousands of properties threatened by persistent flooding to avoid rebuilding.

Dozens of people who helped respond to the 2019 Nebraska floods are getting honored for work saving lives and rescuing stranded neighbors. Gov. Pete Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore presented awards Tuesday to individuals and groups that contributed to the effort. Special accolades went to James Wilke, a Columbus farmer who died trying to save a stranded motorist from floodwaters, the Nebraska National Guard, and a group of firefighters and volunteers whose air boat capsized as they worked to rescue a family from their home.

Hundreds of containers — many carrying hazardous materials — have floated into Missouri since flooding in the upper Missouri River basin during the spring.

Floodwaters Recede At NP Dodge

Nov 6, 2019

The floodwaters are receding at NP Dodge Park in Omaha.  For the first time in eight months, water levels are low enough for boaters to assess the damage at the NP Dodge Marina.  Omaha Parks and Recreation officials say the river near the marina will need to be dredged, the boat slips will need to be cleaned and damage costs have yet to be determined.


Flood Victims Get Day At Zoo

Nov 4, 2019

Families impacted by flooding are treated to a day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha.  The United Way of the Midlands, Kellogg Company Fund and online wholesaler Boxed teamed up to stage the free event.  Nearly 15-hundred flood victims took part in the free day at the zoo which featured animal exhibits, refreshments and free giveaways.  Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley spoke at the event about the state's latest flood recovery efforts.


Flood Cleanup Could Be Costly

Oct 31, 2019

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Flood cleanup in Nebraska could be costly.  The Nebraska Military Department has requested nearly 50-million-dollars to pay for the state's costs for recovering after the spring floods.  The agency also asked for three-million-dollars to put in the governor's emergency fund.  Nebraska Emergency Management Agency officials say total damage to the state's infrastructure following the flooding could reach 400-million dollars.


Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Flooding along the Missouri River has stretched on for seven months in places and could endure through the winter, leaving some Upper Midwest farmland and possibly some homes encased in ice. There are several reasons for the flooding, including high levels along the river, saturated ground and broken levees. And with forecasters predicting a wetter-than-normal winter, it’s possible flooding could continue in some places all the way until spring, when the normal flood season begins. “There’s no end in sight.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The lower Missouri River will remain high into December because of the large amount of water being released from dams into the river.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the amount of water being released from the Gavins Point dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border will remain at a level more than twice what is typical for this time of year — 80,000 cubic feet per second — into mid-December.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — After an unusually rainy September in the region, the amount of water flowing down the lower Missouri River this year is likely to match the 2011 record.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it now expects 61 million acre feet of water to flow down the Missouri River this year. That would equal the record set during the prolonged 2011 flooding.

So the Corps will continue releasing massive amounts of water from the dams along the river.

Volunteers Gather In Pacific Junction

Sep 30, 2019

(Pacific Junction, IA)  --  Volunteers are continuing to clean up flood damage in Pacific Junction.  Groups of volunteers gathered in the town on Saturday to clean up more than 40 properties damaged by flooding of the Missouri River this year.  Some clean-up crews helped pull weeds from overgrown yards, while others installed insulation in homes. 

Part Of I-29 Now Closed Due To Flooding

Sep 20, 2019

(Council Bluffs, IA)  --  Flooding has closed part of Interstate 29 in western Iowa.  The closure in both directions is between Exit 61 near Crescent to Exit 71 at the Interstate 680 interchange at Loveland.  It comes as WOWT-TV reports a third levee was breached.

Part Of I-29 Could Close Today Due To Flooding

Sep 18, 2019

(Council Bluffs, IA)  --  Part of Interstate 29 in western Iowa could close once again today.  The Iowa Department of Transportation says the closure could happen by this afternoon's commute near the Honey Creek area north of Council Bluffs.  Water is expected to come over the road as area rivers swell.  The D-O-T is asking people to visit 511 I-A dot org for the latest information.

Western Iowans Bracing For More Flooding

Sep 17, 2019

(Council Bluffs, IA)  --  People in western Iowa are bracing for more flooding with the Missouri River on the rise.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is slowing water release at a dam upstream in hopes it will prevent some of the worst flooding from Sioux City to Council Bluffs.  The river's expected to rise about five feet and crest at over 30 feet early this weekend.  Flood warnings are in effect all along Iowa's western border.

FEMA Disaster Registration Deadline Approaching

Sep 10, 2019

(Undated)  --  A deadline is coming up on Friday to register for FEMA assistance for the flooding disaster that occurred in Nebraska from March to July.  That deadline is for both the FEMA individual assistance grants and the low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  At the request of Governor Pete Ricketts, FEMA extended the incident period, which originally ended in April. You can register online at

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska state emergency officials who faced record floods this summer are now scrambling to boost their ranks with more workers to help residents recover and rebuild their communities.

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency plans to hire 17 new employees in the coming months, increasing from its current 41 to 58 workers.

Flooding throughout the state swamped the agency with service requests that began in March and continued throughout the summer. The recovery won't end anytime soon, as government officials undertake the slow process of rebuilding.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Agriculture Department has announced the award of $36 million to buy conservation easements on Iowa agriculture land damaged by flooding this year.

The funds are available through the flood plain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service field offices are accepting applications through Oct. 18.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has signed a disaster declaration to help communities struck by flooding since July 15.

The declaration announced Wednesday frees up state resources to help local cities and counties with their recovery efforts.

Rickets signed the latest declaration last week to provide emergency assistance for all of the affected communities. He issued an earlier declaration in March.

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska State Fair says the parking isn't available Monday at the rain-soaked Fonner Park fairgrounds.

Fair officials urged people to park at offsite locations and take free shuttle rides to the fairgrounds, where some standing water remained in spots.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — State officials say some Nebraska wildlife management areas are still closed because of flooding and high water.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says hunters could encounter access problems because some county roads to the areas are closed or difficult to drive.

The commission says the following areas are closed or partially closed:

GERING, Neb. (AP) — Farmers in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming left without a way to water crops following the collapse of a massive irrigation tunnel in July will be covered by federal crop insurance.

That word came Friday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which determined that the cause of the collapse was weather-related and caused by heavy precipitation. Farmers affected by the collapse should contact their insurance agents to file a claim.

Plattsmouth Residents Reminded To Conserve Water

Aug 22, 2019

(Plattsmouth, NE)  --  Plattsmouth residents are being reminded they still need to conserve water.  The city's website says it's seen a spike in water use over the last few days and the city is running out of its supply.  Plattsmouth has been under a water emergency order since flooding started back in March.  The city's plant remains offline and is still surrounded by water.  The city says the ten-million dollar project to repair the plant could be finished as soon as September 1st.

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, Nebraska, says repair work on a levee breach near Hamburg, Iowa, has been completed.

The agency said in a news release Friday that the breach was one of four priority breaches to be closed in the wake of historic flooding along the Missouri River in March. The Corps says the work, which began in early May, was completed Thursday.

Newt Marine Service of Dubuque, Iowa, was awarded the $12 million contract for the repair work.

Flood Advisory In Omaha Remains In Effect

Jul 23, 2019

(Omaha, NE)  --  The National Weather Service has a flood advisory in effect for the Missouri River in the Omaha area.  The notice issued last night says the advisory will remain in effect until further notice.  The waters were measured at over 27-feet last night.  The Missouri River flood stage caps off at 29-feet.  The river is expected to hit more than 28-feet by early Tuesday.  The advisory cautions residents not to try driving through roads covered in water.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The lower Missouri River is likely to remain high throughout the summer because of the large amount of water being released from dams upstream.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it needs to keep the releases high to clear out space in all the dams along the river. So it will continue releasing more than double the average amount of water from Gavins Point Dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border at least into August.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — State emergency officials are urging south-central Nebraska residents and local governments to document any damage they experienced from flooding earlier this month.  Officials with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency say they're still collecting damage reports from local emergency management offices. They recommend documenting damage by photograph or video, if possible. They say affected people should register the damage with both their private insurer and local emergency management offices .

Debris Pickup Deadline Approaches

Jul 12, 2019

(Mills County, IA)  --  Flood debris disposal is approaching a deadline in Mills County.  Tomorrow marks the final day that the Mills County public works department will help residents with the disposal of debris.  County officials say they have seen a large amount of debris following the spring floods along the Missouri River.  Debris must be sorted into different categories including vegetative, construction material, appliances, electronics and household hazardous waste. 

Program Offered For Flood Damaged Farms

Jul 2, 2019

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Nebraska farmers are getting some help from the federal government for dealing with flooded or wet fields.  The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering an Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help farmers.  Farmers who cannot plant crops due to damaged fields can sign up for technical and financial assistance until July 19th.