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Nebraska residents prep for 2020 flooding: 'My pumps are running and it's only February'

Posted at 10:16 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 23:16:48-05

FREMONT, Neb. (KMTV) — As the snow melts and ice breaks apart, those who experienced historic flooding last spring worry about what's to come.

"There is a flood risk this year and it's higher than normal," National Weather Service Hydrologist David Pearson said.

Although it's still winter, there are already red flags.

The Elkhorn River is experiencing ice jams and area fields already so saturated, creating growing fears for this spring.

"We were an island in Scribner and you get fearing that again," Becky Hull said. "We know our levees held together, but everybody else around us had devastation."

Hull's backyard pooled with water last March. She says there is so much saturation the water has no where to go.

The NWS has also been concerned about possible early flooding.

"We are watching things like the soil moisture, which is pretty high," Pearson said. "The rivers are just high in general and we'll see how much more snow we get."

Hundreds gathered in Fremont on Tuesday, Feb 4 to stay up-to-date on current river levels, as well as prepare for when flooding hits.

They were also reminded to report any ice jams that could create an issue.

"If you are in a vulnerable area, it's important to keep a close eye," Pearson said. "Even a small rise in those areas could cause a lot flooding."