COLUMBUS – As expected, the flooding in the Columbus area has started to pick up, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
One of the biggest problem areas right now are the lands that surround Shell Creek, as the stage as of 12:30 PM was at 19.49 feet. Flood stage for Shell Creek is at 20 feet, and water levels are anticipated to be up to nearly 22 feet by Thursday afternoon.
Road closures for the Columbus area include: Highway 81 north to Norfolk; Highway 30 East is one lane by the Rogers corner; Lindsay Blacktop at Lindsay; 91 West of Lindsay closed at the Shell Creek Bridge; Monastery Road by Creston.
Platte County Emergency Management Director Tim Hofbauer says that the county has run out of barricades, so not all roads will have proper signage.
The City of Columbus is continuing to monitor the flooding situation around residential areas, and have been monitoring the situation with the Loup River over the last few months. Columbus City Administrator said in a statement provided to News Channel Nebraska:
“The City has been preparing for flooding of the Loup River. Coordination has been and continues to be taking place with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, Platte County Emergency Management, Nebraska State Patrol, and other stakeholders.
Additional equipment and material is in place. If the Loup River continues to rise the City is prepared to sandbag key locations as well as monitor and prepare in accordance with Local Emergency Operations Plan.
The City has increased the number of large pumps on hand. If necessary, the pumps will be located at the four Loup River outfall drainage basins within Columbus.
The levee has been recently upgraded and it is expected to maintain its structural integrity. Observation of the levee will be continuous during this event. In order to maintain the structural integrity of the levee please do not drive on the levee, disturb the soil or place any foreign material or structure on the levee or near the toe drain system.
Many have and will continue to experience localized standing water. This is due to the mostly frozen ground in combination with the snow, ice melt and rainfall. Property owners should be monitoring their drainage systems around foundations to ensure proper flow away from structures.”
News Channel Nebraska will continue to provide situation updates as the day continues.