FREMONT – Water levels on the Dodge County side of the Platte River ice jam did not rise overnight Thursday into Friday morning, with water levels actually dropping in some places.
The river and the ice jam on it have shifted. The Flood Advisory that had been in place the majority of this week for northeastern Saunders and southeastern Dodge county areas directly on the Platte has been allowed to expire, as of 4:45AM Friday morning. A Flood Warning remains in place for south central Dodge county through 10PM tonight for that area between County Road 14 South of Highway 30 to Lake Ventura. The area most affected as of the last assessment was from around County Road 12 on the west end to County Road 19 on the east end.
Authorities will be back on the river today to make an updated assessment. The Flood Warning may change, and a new Flood Advisory may be issued.
“Don’t get a false hope,” said Mayor Getzschman. “The river is jammed tight.”
Lowland flooding has begun to push in to the Cedar Lakes area on the Saunders county side of the river, due to the water’s inability to force a channel through the ice. Instead, it ends up spreading into the low lying areas adjacent to the river. On the Dodge county side, the flow has slowed considerably. “On the Dodge County side,” said Mayor Getzschman, “we have low flow, actually, everywhere. Water levels went down last night. The flow that we thought we might get overnight didn’t materialize.”
Today’s rising temperatures will be a blessing and a potential concern. The temperatures will get the ice moving on the river, and that can quickly change water levels and the path of flooding. “We need to have that happen,” said Getzschman, “but while it happens, the river’s going to change a lot. Water levels are going to change a lot during that whole process.”
In the Rod & Gun Club, the broken section is smaller than any previous issues have been, about half the size on a weakened sand bank. Water levels are still going down in the Rod & Gun Club, and County Rd 19 is down five feet from the highest point this week. Crews were back out on the breached area before 7AM, raising the level of what they’ve already put in to further protect it against a potential rise in the river.
Power lines were affected in the Rod & Gun Club, and all the power has been shut off to that area. The individuals that were rescued by boat last Saturday were able to get back in and remove their pets from the home yesterday. The pets were in good condition, and should be “just fine,” according to Getzschman.
At Timberwood, water stopped running over the road last night around 8PM. Instead, it’s now running through the culverts with plenty of clearance, as it should, Getzschman told us.
At North Bend, the river level is steady at about 3.9 feet. Earlier in the week, that level was near 4.5 feet. (Flood stage is 8 feet.) “That’s good news,” said Getzschman, “it shows that what’s going to come down[stream] to us for the bulk of today, is at a lower level,” he said.
Getzschman stressed the need for people along the Platte River on either side to remain vigilant today. “Just hope, and pray, and don’t let your guard down because today is going to be a volatile day. The river levels are going to change. Keep watching the river.”