Nebraska floods have broken records in 17 places across the state

Nebraska floods have broken records in 17 places across the state
AP via CNN
Waters rise Thursday on the Elkhorn River south of Arlington, Nebraska.

The flooding in Nebraska has gotten so bad it’s breaking records across the state.

About 9 million people in 14 states along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are under a flood warning, according to CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis.

Some of the records go as far back as 1960 and some are as recent as 2011, according to a press release from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, or NEMA. The majority of the records NEMA listed involved the Missouri River, which crested between 30 and 47.5 feet in different areas throughout the state since Tuesday, breaking previous records by 1 to 4 feet.

The Platte River in Louisville is expected to crest Sunday at 14.3 feet, breaking its 1960 record by 1.9 feet, NEMA said. The Elkhorn River at Waterloo crested at 24.6 feet on Saturday, breaking its 1962 record by 5.5 feet.

Much of the major flooding is expected to continue through next weekend, NEMA said. The Elkhorn River is the only river whose major flooding was expected to decrease to moderate on Sunday.

Floods are remnants of bomb cyclone

The continued flooding comes from the aftermath of the “bomb cyclone” that slammed the central United States with hurricane-like winds and blizzard conditions last week, leaving in its tracks heavy rains and flooding.

CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said the water left by the bomb cyclone goes into streams and then rivers, causing the cresting and flooding.

“Just because it stops raining doesn’t mean rivers will stop cresting,” Shackelford said. “Rivers can crest days later.”

Shackelford and Maginnis said flood risks will be high throughout the week in the Midwest and that river crests won’t stop until the weekend.

The National Weather Service in Omaha issued a flash flood warning for localities along the Nebraska-Iowa border.

Two deaths attributed to flooding

Hundreds of people have been rescued, NEMA said. The American Red Cross is operating 22 shelters that are housing about 660 people. The largest population the shelters have seen is 1,193, NEMA said.

Two deaths have been attributed to the flooding.

James Wilke, a Columbus farmer, died while trying to help emergency responders. Jodi L. Hefti, a close family friend, wrote on Facebook that Wilke got a call to assist emergency responders, according to CNN affiliate KMTV. Hefti said a bridge gave out while Wilke was driving his tractor over it.

“James and the tractor went down into the floodwater below,” Hefti said.

A second Nebraska man died at a hospital in Lincoln after being caught in floodwaters across the state line in Iowa, according to the Fremont County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office. The victim, 55-year-old Aleido Rojas Galan of Norfolk, Nebraska, was one of three men trapped by flooding in the town of Riverton after their car was swept away and they tried to swim to safety.

All three were rescued — Galan and another man were found “hanging onto trees,” according to the sheriff’s office — but Galan died from injuries, the sheriff’s office said.

The car carrying the men had driven around a road-closed barrier then hit floodwaters, the sheriff’s office said.