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Ice jams along Platte River break up; floodwaters recede near Schuyler and Fremont

Ice jams along Platte River break up; floodwaters recede near Schuyler and Fremont

The ice jams along the Platte River that caused flooding south of Schuyler and on Fremont’s south end have cleared, and floodwaters are continuing to recede, officials said Friday.

The National Weather Service lifted a flood warning along the river near Fremont before 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Road south of Schuyler cleared of mud

County Road C south of Schuyler in Colfax County was covered with mud after floodwaters receded Wednesday. Colfax County Highway Department crews had the roads open to the public by Thursday night, Colfax County Attorney Denise Kracl said.

Floodwaters began to recede south of Schuyler on Wednesday, Colfax County Attorney Denise Kracl said. The Colfax County Highway Department repaired damage to public roads, which now are passable, she said. Many private roads, however, still need some work, Kracl said.

Feb. 26, an ice jam in the Platte had caused the river to leave its banks south of Schuyler, prompting the closing of a portion of Nebraska Highway 15 into town.


This photo, taken Wednesday, is looking east on Colfax County Road C looking east to Nebraska Highway 15 as floodwaters began to recede. Colfax County Highway Department crews repaired the road and had it open by Thursday night, Colfax County Attorney Denise Kracl said.

Schuyler is about 30 miles west of Fremont, which is about 40 miles northwest of Omaha.

In Fremont, floodwaters started receding around noon Thursday, said Tom Smith, the emergency manager for Dodge County. Flooding affected people living near the river west of U.S. Highway 77, including around area lakes.

On Tuesday, Smith said, “we thought there was a channel on the north side (of the Platte River) that was opening up, and it must have gotten jammed again. It caused flooding on Big Island and overtopped a lake berm.” That water then spilled into other lakes and came up onto South Ridge Road.

Officials evacuated seven people Wednesday from a private lake community that uses South Ridge Road to get to their houses. The water on the road receded “quite a bit” Thursday, Smith said, and then a channel opened and water receded quickly on Big Island.

Neighborhoods on the south end of Fremont had been affected by an ice jam going back to Jan. 30, Smith said.

Crews now will have to assess damage to area roads, he said.

Brian Barjenbruch, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Valley, said Friday that water was flowing through the Platte River channel.

“We’re in a good position,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll see additional cold weather, but it’s unlikely to create significant river ice from this point on. So we’re looking good.”

Our best Omaha staff photos of March 2021

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Bob Glissmann helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow him on Twitter @BobGlissmann. Phone: 402-444-1109.

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