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NEMA Sending Mobile Operations Center and Staff to Ogalalla

September 16, 2013

Water from Colorado Flooding Expected to Enter Nebraska Late Tuesday

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency is sending a team of six staff and its Mobile Operations Center (MOC) to Ogallala on Wednesday to work with local emergency managers along the South Platte River in response to potential flooding from water coming from heavy rains that fell on Colorado.

The team will arrange for state resources as needed and coordinate the state’s response.

“The magnitude of flooding could be unprecedented,” said Earl Imler, response and recovery section supervisor. “Many gauges were washed away from bridges in Colorado, so it is hard to predict how much water we will be getting. We will have a better idea of how this will affect the state once the water reaches the state line.”

Rising water is expected to start at Julesburg, Colo. Today and will enter the state shortly thereafter.

“When that water hits bridges along the South Platte, it will be difficult for it to stay in the channels,” said Brian Dunnigan, director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR). “Debris in the water is going to be the biggest issue and could contribute to additional flooding.”

A team of representatives from NDNR, the National Weather Service and the Nebraska Information Analysis Center (NIAC) are working on predictive models to determine how the increased water could affect communities downstream.

State officials continue to urge citizens to:

• Cancel any recreational activities along the South Platte River.
• Stay out of flood waters. The velocity of the water will be faster than usual, and unsafe.
• Keep informed. Listen to the television or radio or search the Internet for information and instructions.
• Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
• If instructed to do so, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves.
• Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are standing in water.
• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
• Health officials urge you to avoid flood waters, even if they look safe. Water can contain sewage, debris, bacteria and other items.

Visit http://www.nema.ne.gov/newsroom/flooding-information.shtml for information of flood safety.

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