River Flooding Finally Ends On The North Platte River

Due to record snowfall during the 2010-2011 snowfall season
across the mountains of the North Platte Basin, reservoirs in
Wyoming and Nebraska began releasing high flows in February
and March. The high flows from Wyoming caused flooding to
begin at Lewellen on March 14th and didn't fully end until October
2nd.  Meanwhile, high flows were released from Lake McConaughy
in early March, and caused flooding to begin along the North Platte
River at North Platte on March 11th. The river stage finally fell
below flood stage on October 8th.

Record flooding resulted at both Lewellen and North Platte.
Property damage resulted in and near Lewellen with damage to
roads, property, and a bridge.  At North Platte, water got into
some basements and crawlspaces along the north side of the
city, while residents living near Highway 83 and North River
Road battled flood waters by sandbagging.  Some homes lost
the battle and suffered damage to their homes and property.
Damage of this magnitude is not surprising, considering that
the record stage of 7.69 feet in June, was nearly a foot above
the previous record stage.

The Army Corps of Engineers created flood elevation maps for
the city of North Platte and nearby areas in late May.  As a result,
a series of permanent and temporary dikes were built beginning
in early June to protect the city of North Platte. Airlifted sandbags
were placed along the east bank of the river east of North Platte,
to protect the railroad, residents living near North Airport Road
and Highway 30, as well as North Platte Municipal Airport from
major flooding. 

High flows continued along the North Platte River into October.
This was to allow for increased storage space in Lake McConaughy
for the next spring snowmelt runoff.

If above normal snowfall occurs for this upcoming snowfall season
across the mountains of the North Platte basin, residents may once
again need to prepare for potential flooding along the North Platte
River next spring and summer.

(Flooding along North River Road in North Platte, looking west on June 22nd, 2011)
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Kenny Roberg

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