FREMONT, Neb. (KMTV) — Some residents in Fremont are evacuating their homes, as flood waters from the Platte River spill over into the river bottoms.
An ice jam south of Fremont on the Platte River has been causing a water build up since January 30. The Platte River sits at 6.2 ft as of Saturday afternoon, just under two feet of the flood stage according to the National Weather Service, which measured the waters at Leshara.
According to Dep. Brie Frank with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, they’ve been encouraging residents to seek shelter away from the river bottoms. Frank said ice jams and flooding are somewhat unpredictable, and they want residents to leave in case there is a sudden flooding.
“People in the river bottom and low lying areas next to the river do have an evacuation order, which is voluntary for this area to leave prior to any flooding that might occur with the ice jam because they’re so unpredictable," Frank said.
Frank wanted to be clear that the evacuation suggestion is just for residents along the river.
Another ice jam near Schuyler is causing flooding in Colfax County. Michelle Evert, the county’s Emergency Manager, says the water has been affecting county roads and has not reached the city yet. It has closed Highway 15 however.
Colfax County is not forcing any evacuations but certainly is not discouraging anyone who feels they should leave. Evert says there was one elderly resident that has been evacuated.
"We did have to evacuate one person, but she was an elderly lady so we just needed to get her out," Evert said.
Both Frank and Evert say they are not expecting flood levels like what we saw in 2019, and are just waiting for the ice jams to break.
“2019 was the perfect storm," Frank said. "There is not the frost cover on the land like there was in 2019. They’re not predicting rain like there was, so this is definitely just your seasonal ice jams that come and go.”