Sandbags added to levee that protects Nebraska nuke plant

Elkhorn River Flood Warning

Officials in eastern Nebraska said more than 2,600 people living along the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers there had been urged to evacuate, as waters breached levees in several rural spots. Do not enter flood waters.

Rain and snowmelt from a massive late-winter storm pushed streams and rivers out of their banks, saturated rural fields and swelled on city streets from Nebraska to Wisconsin, even threatening a nuclear power plant Friday, with the flooding expected to last into the weekend.

Widespread flooding in Nebraska prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase water releases upstream of the Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam. On Tuesday, the company began emergency preparations, including sandbagging and barricading facilities. That is about three feet above flood stage.

Officials in other parts of Nebraska said a Norfolk man was seen on top of his flooded auto late on Thursday before being swept away and another man was missing after being swept away when a dam collapsed on the Niobrara river. The weather service recorded a 60 miles per hour (97 kph) wind gust at Indianapolis International Airport. "Projections earlier this morning, based on the gauge when it was functioning, indicates we could reach 902 or higher after midnight", he said. "I have no place to go", said Dale Chaney of Percival.

"We are closely monitoring the situation".

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The family of 50-year-old James Wilke, of Columbus, Nebraska, said he was driving his tractor to rescue stranded motorists on a county road cut off by flooding on Thursday when a bridge he was crossing collapsed.

The same can not be said for the Spencer Dam, which failed at the Niobrara River. The failure caused a large ice floe to create a hole in a building.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the Spencer Dam had been "compromised".

"Things are moving and changing at a rapid pace", Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson said Friday at a news conference.

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