Enough already -- Floodwaters ravage Nebraska yet again

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Mother Nature is relentless!
Our hearts are hurting this week after watching the news and hearing details of yet another wave of nearby water-soaked destruction. While many Nebraskans are still in the midst of rebuilding their homes, properties and lives after the devastating March floods, the skies opened up yet again sending floodwaters across an already saturated landscape.
The images from Kearney, Lexington, Gibbon and Wood River looked eerily familiar to March, minus the massive dam that broke near Niobrara. It may take months to fully assess the damage, though we can already conclude that Nebraska has been hit with a second 100-year flood in just four months.
There are no words to fully describe what those folks are living through, especially the few who experienced flooding both times. They are literally living life one day at a time knowing that some sense of normal may be weeks or months away.
Hamilton County appears to have dodged yet another bullet in that regard, as the 6-to-9-inch deluge that soaked central Nebraska did not come this far east. Emergency officials have been on high alert and reported that the Platte River crested Thursday around noon at a dangerous 7.56 feet. Anything over 7.5 feet is considered “major flood stage,” though mercifully the river dropped more than 24 inches and was measured at 5.18 feet Monday morning.
Not only are the rivers running high and fast, the water tables beneath the soil have come up considerably as well, causing moisture to seep into basements in many areas. It’s hard to believe that drought and possible water allocations were in the headlines not that long ago, though we’re on the other end of that spectrum now proving how quickly things can change.
There is still a rough road ahead, quite literally, as efforts continue to repair and maintain rural roads throughout the county. With school set to start in a month and harvest looming, the clock is ticking.
Mother Nature has been brutal this year, no doubt, with consistent rains and flooding measured on a historical scale. Given that perspective, things could be so much worse here in Hamilton County.
Kurt Johnson

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