In Norfolk, one man is still missing after being swept away by the rushing water Thursday morning. As a precaution, city officials have evacuated nearly a third of Norfolk. More than 1,000 people have found a safe place to stay at community shelters.
“They were like we’re evacuating, you need to get out, we need to pack a bag. So it was very stressful, we didn’t know what to pack, we really didn’t know what to expect,” said Madison Siedschlag, a student at NECC.
Northeast Community College was one of the largest evacuation areas as many student dorms overlook the Elkhorn River. “Yeah I live on the 1st floor so I woke up and found out that my roommates already had a little bit of water on their side and so they were trying to dry their books, some had water damage,” said Emma Meisenheimer of NECC.
“Once they said we had to evacuate we moved quickly into action and got these students loaded up on our buses and began moving them to the church here,” said Dr. Michael Chipps, President at NECC.
“The kids are able to play, they’re able to watch movies. We got rooms for studying, we got game rooms, we got sleeping rooms,” added First Christian Church Pastor Tim DeFor. Norfolk’s First Christian Church is one of five shelters hosting evacuees. So much food, hundreds of bottles of water, people have brought everything from toothpaste to pillows and blankets. Everybody is reaching out saying how can we help. The evacuation a precaution in case the levee did not hold. “I mean without that we would have severe distruction and life safety problems would be a mess. But signs of improvement late Thursday,” said Shane Weidner of the Norfolk Public Saftey Department. Mayor Josh Moenning adding, “So seeing a leveling of water levels on the North Fork, they’re not climbing. They are steady and stable.”
While the levee is holding steady the record flooding proved very dangerous early Thursday morning. Weidner says, “His car got swept away in the water, he was able to get out and get to the rooftop and trying to make his way and the water was so strong that it, unfortunately, took him and the car away and he is still missing.