OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Evacuations forced by flooding have occurred in several eastern Nebraska communities, as western Nebraska residents struggled with blizzardlike conditions.

Officials report protective levees were topped or beached Wednesday in southwest Sarpy County and north of Pierce. Evacuations have occurred in Belgrade, Burwell, Cedar Rapids, Dannebrog, Harrington, Pierce, Randolph, St. Paul and Verdigre.

The National Weather Service says Loup River floodwater poses a threat to Genoa, where evacuations have occurred.

Wind gusts approaching 90 mph (144.8 kph) were reported in the Nebraska Panhandle. The wind, blowing snow and snow-packed roadways made travel treacherous. The blizzard warnings remain in effect through 6 p.m.

The Nebraska Transportation Department reports that Interstate 80 remains closed west of Kearney, and several highways are closed in the Panhandle and northeast Nebraska, including sections of U.S. Highway 20.

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