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.
⚠️ Traffic Alert! ⚠️ Heavy rains resulted in significant damage on N-1 just east of Murray. Viaduct is intact. Road is closed to all traffic. Contractors are all already on site for repairs. Detour routes are N-66 & US-34. Check https://t.co/dMWDoxmD2N for latest. pic.twitter.com/Rzoxf6oRe2— Nebraska DOT (@NebraskaDOT) August 31, 2021