Platte River crests, Hotline established

The following is a press release from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency

 

Lincoln, Neb. – A public hotline has been established for Nebraskans to call with questions about the flooding emergency around the state. The NEMA Public Information Hotline can be reached at 888-656-6045, and will be staffed by National Guard troops at the Joint Information Center in Lincoln with assistance by Public Information Officers.  The hours of the hotline are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily until further notice.

The National Weather Service indicates that the Platte River is cresting now, and that there are surges all along the river.  The river's level should continue to slowly fall after the crest.  The river is approximately a foot above flood stage at this time.

The NEMA emergency effort is currently concentrating on three key areas in their state response:  health and safety issues; recovery operations, and; drinking water and sewage problems.  So far, NEMA assessment teams have worked in Madison, Morrill, Dawson, Nance, Wheeler, Garden, Valley and Greeley counties, or have met with those counties' emergency managers.  Distances and road conditions are making it a challenge to travel in the affected areas.  They are currently en-route to other locations, but downed communication systems are posing a problem in the north-central part of the state.

Currently Stanton and Kenesaw are the only towns having public water supply problems.  Stanton's problem is due to a water main break, and Kenesaw's issue is electrical in nature.  Drinking water sampling is being done but no reports back yet.  The water may have some discoloration but this is NOT an indication of contamination and the water is okay to drink.

North Loup drinking water has been tested and is okay to drink.
 
Highway 77 is now open near Winslow. Current road condition reports can be found on the Nebraska Department of Roads website at www.dor.state.ne.us.
 
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assessment teams have arrived and will begin to assess damage around the state. These assessments will be needed for FEMA to provide public assistance.

In Norfolk, the town is sandbagging because the Elkhorn River is still well above flood levels.   The river is expected to crest in Norfolk around 6p.m. tonight.  Other towns along the Elkhorn River continue to see flooding.