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Gov. Ricketts issues emergency declaration ahead of severe weather

Posted at 9:27 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 15:19:01-04

Update: Gov. Ricketts and other state officials will be holding a 5 pm news conference in Lincoln to address the weather emergency across the state. 3 News Now will live stream the news conference on our website and OTT app.
Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have issued an emergency declaration in preparation for severe weather set to impact the state.

Effective Tuesday, the emergency declaration allows NEMA and other state agencies to address the potential impacts from the upcoming severe winter storm anticipated to affect the Panhandle area, along with flooding expected across other areas of Nebraska.

“Nebraska has experienced a significant amount of severe weather and precipitation over the last couple of months,” said Governor Ricketts. “Nebraskans should watch the forecast closely in the coming days, and be prepared for severe weather events in conjunction with potential historic flooding. As Nebraskans know, conditions can change quickly, and everyone needs to be prepared.”

While the storm is expected to bring record levels of snow to the Panhandle region, it is expected to generate rainfall in eastern portions of Nebraska. A press release from Gov. Ricketts says frozen ground and high soil saturation levels will allow melting snow and precipitation to flow into rivers and streams, resulting in possible significant flooding along the Loup, Platte, Elkhorn and Missouri rivers.

Ice jams in those locations could make flooding worse.

Drivers are urged to avoid travel as the winter storm enters the state. Nebraska residents and agricultural producers are asked to take precautionary measures to protect life and property.

Read the full declaration here.