Flood warnings follow heavy rain in south-central Nebraska

Nebraska News

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — Firefighters and other first responders Tuesday rescued motorists and residents stranded by floodwaters following an overnight deluge in south-central Nebraska.

Flash flood warnings were issued after up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain fell in some spots during storms that struck Buffalo, Dawson, Frontier, Gosper, Kearney and Phelps counties, the National Weather Service said.

The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office said several vehicles were stalled in high water on U.S. Highway 30 in Lexington, and Kearney firefighters and a dive team were called out to help people unable to leave their homes. No injuries have been reported.

U.S. 30 was closed by flooding just east of Odessa, the Nebraska Transportation Department said.

The flooding delayed Amtrak service as well. Amtrak reports that a westbound train has been stopped in Lincoln and an eastbound train was held at McCook because of flooding between Holdrege and McCook.

The worst of the flash flooding likely has abated, the service said, but flooding is expected along the Platte and other rivers as the storm runoff moves downstream.

Those affected by the flooding were offered shelter by at least two groups. The University of Nebraska at Kearney announced it would open up dorm space as temporary housing, including for those in nearby hotels who were evacuated. The American Red Cross also opened a shelter inside Lexington High School.

At Grand Island, the Platte is expected to crest Friday morning just a few inches under the record set on March 27, 1960. The Wood River is expected to crest Friday in Alda just under a foot (30 centimeters) below its record set on June 16, 1967. The service said it didn’t have a crest forecast yet for the Wood River in Grand Island.

Strong to marginally severe thunderstorms capable of producing large hail were possible Tuesday night west of Grand Island, the weather service said. Downpours on already saturated ground also could briefly worsen flooding, the service said.

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