Monday, it was reported that least 1 person is missing after devastating floods across the US Midwest that killed 3 others and inflicted hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in what Nebraska’s Governor called a disaster of historic proportions.
As floodwaters began to recede in much of the area inundated by the aftermath of a storm dubbed a “bomb cyclone,” Nebraska officials were taking in the damage in a state where 64 of the 93 counties have declared emergencies.
“This is clearly the most widespread disaster we have had in our state’s history,” in terms of sheer size, Governor Pete Ricketts told reporters Monday on an afternoon briefing call.
State officials said on the call that 290 people had been rescued by the Nebraska State Patrol, National Guard troops, and urban search and rescue teams.
Damage to the state’s livestock sector was estimated at about $400 million, while the full impact on the spring planting season was not yet clear, said the Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
The state’s highway system suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, said the Director of the state Department of Transportation, with more than 200 miles of roadways needing repair or replacement. Some 540 miles of highways remained closed, he said, down from 1,500 at the peak of flooding.
The 3 known fatalities included an 80-year-old woman who perished at her Columbus, Nebraska, home, despite attempts to rescue her from rising floodwaters, said a Nebraska State Patrol official.
A young man from Norfolk, Nebraska, was swept away and killed after driving his car into moving water, and a Columbus man died when the tractor he was using to help free a stranded driver overturned.
One person was missing and presumed dead following the collapse of the Spencer Dam along Niobrara River in southwest Nebraska.
The Missouri River, the longest in North America, has flooded much of Nebraska between Omaha and Kansas City at the Missouri state line.
The river was expected to crest at 47.5 ft Tuesday, breaking the previous record, set in Y 2011, by more than a foot, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said in the latest bulletin on its web page.
Governor Ricketts said he had requested emergency assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and been in contact with The Trump Administration.
“There could be issues across portions of Nebraska and Kansas for the next 7 days,” a NWS meteorologist said.
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