A flood watch for the Platte, Loup and Elkhorn Rivers has been extended until noon Wednesday, but officials are cautiously optimistic.
“We never declare victory until the last ice moves out, but things are looking good,” John Winkler, general manager of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, said Monday. “We had a considerable amount of ice moving out this weekend, especially Sunday.”
During the recent warming trend, the National Weather Service in Valley, the Papio-Missouri NRD and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency have been among the agencies monitoring river ice conditions. Flooding from the Platte River south of Schuyler has kept a portion of Nebraska Highway 15 closed.
Officials are keeping a close watch on an ice jam near Fremont at the U.S. Highway 77 bridge, Winkler said. Observers also reported that the Elkhorn River ice moved into the Platte River and then made its way to down the Missouri River.
“South of Highway 77, the Platte is pretty open,” Winkler said. “The channel is getting wider there every day.”
The Papio NRD is advising the public to stay away from the rivers until the ice has moved out.
Our best Omaha staff photos of February 2021