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Heavy rains wash out Nebraska town's Main Street

Heavy rains wash out Nebraska town's Main Street

Section of Main Street washes out in Murray, Nebraska

A section of Main Street in Murray, Nebraska, washed out during heavy rains Monday night into Tuesday morning. People wanting to travel between U.S. 34/75 and Murray will need to take a detour.

Heavy rain prompted flash flood advisories in eastern Nebraska overnight Monday and washed out a key road in a small town south of Omaha.

The village of Murray lost direct access to U.S. 75/34 when the stretch of Main Street that led to a railroad overpass caved in. The Nebraska Department of Transportation has closed Main Street for repairs.

Shelli Hayes, village clerk, said people will need to drive about a 3-mile detour to reach the highway. Murray is about 30 miles south of Omaha and is near Beaver Lake.

Overnight rainfall amounts varied, and the heaviest downpours fell along a diagonal line that threaded the area between Lincoln and Omaha, according to radar observations by the National Weather Service.

The highest total reported to the National Weather Service was 7 inches at Osmond, Nebraska. Other areas reporting more than 4 inches of rain included Valley, Snyder, Pierce, Plainview and Gretna.

In the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area, 2.64 inches was reported at Eppley Airfield, 2.66 inches at the Council Bluffs airport and 3.33 inches at the Millard airport. In contrast, Lincoln received .88 inches.

More rain is forecast Thursday night into Friday morning. Wednesday, however will be a pleasant day with sunshine and highs in the mid 80s, according to the weather service.

The rainfall straddled midnight, so no calendar day records were broken. Norfolk matched its record for rain on August 31, and Omaha nearly did. The total amount of rain that fell in both communities exceeded the actual calendar day records.

Climate scientists have warned that big rainstorms are a predictable consequence of global warming. A major reason, climate scientists say, is that warmer air can hold more water so that when it rains, there’s more moisture to wring out of the atmosphere. Since 1958, Nebraska and the upper Great Plains have seen annual precipitation increasingly concentrated in individual big storms — about 30% more over that period, according to the National Climate Assessment.

kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

Omaha World-Herald: Afternoon Update

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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Email: nancy.gaarder@owh.com

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