Flooding on the South Platte River continues across Nebraska. NET News spoke with State Patrol Troop D Lieutenant Kirk Hansel earlier this afternoon for an update.
NET NEWS: What does the river look like in North Platte?
KIRK HANSEL: The North Platte River reached crest levels at 2 PM, so we’re seeing some pretty good water flow. The information we’re receiving from emergency management and NDOR, we’re not really worried about any structures or the roadways being threatened. Currently the links between I-80 and Highway 30 are closed at Big Springs and Roscoe, but plan is to open Big Springs shortly. Traffic flow isn’t being affected on I-80 or Highway 30. We’re not seeing a lot of congestion other than in some urban areas with folks driving by and taking a look at river flows. WE ask people not to park or stand on bridges for their own safety, and to satay awwy from water itself because of contaminants and things that may be in the river.
NET NEWS: Sounds like people had time to prepare, and there haven’t been any real major impacts to cities yet?
HANSEL: City of North Platte and Lincoln County has prepared well. There’s been minor flooding, at the golf course, and along some city streets with some backflow into water infrastructure and water drainage in North Platte.
NET NEWS: River is supposed to crest at Brady tonight, are you expecting any more severe impacts there because of proximity to river?
HANSEL: We’re not anticipating any issues with it impacting highway 30 or interstate in that region. There are some low lying areas in the Maxwell-Brady areas that could experience some flooding and may impact some residences.
NET NEWS: Rail Fest is going on in North Platte this weekend, have there been any impacts from additional people or to the festival?
HANSEL: We haven’t seen a real impact on North Platte River. There were inimical concnrs there would be some backflows coming into North Platte River, where south and North Platte meets. We’ve not seen that. Many of the festivities in Cody Park and in north part of town haven’t been impacted. We’ve seen an increase in travel and traffic flow in North Platte because of Rail Fest, but I haven’t seen any undue delays or congestion or significant impacts to travel flow in North Platte due to flooding at this time.
The Nebraska State Patrol has also been flying over the Platte River, providing aerial views of the flooding for emergency officials.