At Least Three People Died After Record-Breaking Winter Floods In The Midwest
“We will get through this together — neighbor helping neighbor,” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said.
An intense storm brought torrential rainfall and melted winter snow across the Midwest, causing record-breaking flooding along rivers and left at least three people dead, officials said.
Residents in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri have been forced to evacuate their homes after heavy rains melted snow, causing rivers to overflow and rise to dangerous levels.
James Wilke, a 50-year-old Nebraska farmer, died on Thursday after he tried to use a tractor to save other stranded people but a bridge collapsed, according to the AP. Aleido Rojas Galan, a 52-year-old Nebraska resident, was swept away in a vehicle on Friday night in southwestern Iowa, according to a press release from the Freemont County Sheriff.
State emergency management officials confirmed to NBC News that a third person died as a result of the flooding. An elderly Nebraska resident died after refusing to evacuate their home, but there were no other details available.
“We will get through this together,” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts tweeted on Saturday. “Neighbor helping neighbor.”
The State of Nebraska Department of Transportation warned people that “flooding is expected to continue as water continues to move downstream.”
“Roads and bridges are under inspection where water has begun [to] recede,” the state department tweeted on Sunday. “NDOT is working to provide detours for closures.”
Nebraska state authorities had rescued more than 200 people and more than 20 pets, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said Sunday. Some locations on the Missouri River are expected to continue to flood through Thursday, the agency said.
There have also been reports of flooding in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota, as other states prepare to deal with the historic weather conditions. On Friday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers officially declared a state of emergency.
“Rapid snowmelt and rain have caused flooding that has impacted homes, businesses, and cities and towns across Wisconsin,” Evers said.
“This is the worst flood that we’ve had since ,” Darlington, Wisconsin Police Chief Jason King told ABC News station WMTV-TV on Friday. “Darlington’s major flood level is 16 feet and we’ve already exceeded that now.”
As of Sunday night, weather advisories and flood warnings remained in effect in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Iowa.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency also said as of Sunday that the agency was was monitoring 17 flood locations, and the National Weather Service warned they expect major flooding to continue across the Midwestern region until Wednesday.
"Moderate to major and historic river flooding is expected to continue across parts of the Mississippi and Missouri River Basins through the weekend as a result of heavy rainfall earlier this week falling on frozen ground and a deep snowpack leading to intense and quick melting," forecasters said.