BEATRICE – Southwest Gage County was pounded by hail stones the size of tennis balls last night, as a severe thunderstorm moved northeast from Kansas into Jefferson and Gage Counties.
:09 “north, northeast”
That was a Gage County Sheriff’s Deputy radio transmission, minutes before a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Gage County.
:16 “as it moves in”
Tennis ball-sized hail was reported at Steele City, in Jefferson County, from the same storm. As deputies were on patrol during the severe weather, Odell and Wymore firefighters and weather spotters were also watching the weather affecting the two counties.
:18 “of my location”
Gage County had severe thunderstorm warnings issued by the National Weather Service, just after seven p.m…..another a few minutes before 8 p.m…..and a third severe storm warning at about 8:35 p.m., including the City of Beatrice.
In Beatrice, no hail was reported, but heavy downpours created a street flooding problem at 19th and Elk…..and a law enforcement report indicated brief road flooding near the South 6th Street river bridge.
Repeated heavy rainfall has elevated the Big Blue River in Beatrice. At five a.m. today, the river had reached 18.92 feet….almost a foot above flood stage. National Weather Service Hydrologists forecast the river to crest at about 20.5 five early Thursday morning.
At Barneston, the river is cresting this morning about two feet above flood stage.