Saturated Start to June has Lead to Record Flooding

The first half of June has seen record rainfalls across parts of western and north central Nebraska. The overall weather pattern favored shower and thunderstorm development over eastern Wyoming, northeast Colorado and northwest Kansas. The storms would then move east northeast across the region, night after night, locally producing very heavy rainfall. As a result of all the water, many locations have experienced flooding and in some case record flooding. The worst flooding has occurred across north central Nebraska, where widespread rainfall totals over 8 inches and several locations around a foot of rainfall have be observed. While there were some light rain amounts to start the month, most of the rain fell across a ten day period from June 5 to June 14.  All this water has caused numerous reports of bridges damaged and roads washed out.  At Ericson Dam, the emergency spillway was destroyed causing Ericson Lake to drain. Further north, the Elkhorn River shattered its previous record as the Ewing river gage. The old record was 11.3 feet, set back in June of 1947. The most recent high flow was in 1995 when the river rose to 11.1 feet. On Monday, June 14, the river crested at 13.1 feet, nearly 2 feet above the previous record and over 4 feet above flood stage. Over southwestern Nebraska, the heavy rains caused the water table in North Platte to rise, inundating numerous basements with water. While most areas are seeing the water retreat, the threat for additional rainfall over the next week has the potential to bring a return to high water levels.

Double click on map to enlarge


Location Amount (Inches) Location Amount (Inches)
Ainsworth 6.78 Lewellen 3.34
Arthur 3.85 Madrid 4.28
Big Springs 4.59 Mullen 7.01
Butte 6.40 NP EXP Farm 5.39
Chambers 8.62 O'Neill 7.42
Ericson 8WNW 12.18 Spencer 5SSE 6.47
Eustis 2NW 5.93 Stapleton 5W 7.10
Hayes Center 1NW 3.74 Taylor 11.93
Hershey 5SSE 5.66 Wauneta 3.27
Hyannis 5N 4.68 North Platte ASOS 3.73
Imperial 3.38 Imperial ASOS 3.68
Kilgore 1NE 3.79 Broken Bow ASOS 8.74
Kingsley Dam 6.26 Valentine ASOS 3.28


Matt Masek & Shawn Jacobs
NWS North Platte

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