Flash flood emergency forces evacuations in areas west of Omaha, Nebraska

Sandbags protect downtown Clarksville

Sandbags protect downtown Clarksville

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency for a number of towns in eastern Nebraska, including Ashland, Yutan, and Schuyler, as the Platte River is expected to rise 4-5 feet.

Northwestern Sarpy County in east central Nebraska... The state's emergency operations center has already been activated. "We hit major flooding at 27 feet and that is projected to occur sometime tomorrow and persist through the weekend". While additional rises are not expected to be massive, the river may not crest until Saturday or Sunday in this area.

On Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard shut down all traffic on the Missouri River from about 50 miles south of Omaha, downstream to St. Joseph, Missouri, a stretch of about 70 miles. SEMA also supplied St. Joseph with a sandbagging machine.

In the section of the Missouri River meandering through southeastern Nebraska to the Iowa border, the Cooper Nuclear Station declared a "notification of unusual event" early Friday morning, signaling that the river had surpassed a height which causes concern.

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The plant continues to operate safely and "there is no threat to plant employees or to the public", the utility said in a release. They could be tested this year. There remains some uncertainty in the current track of this weather system which may impact the timing and amount of rainfall and snow melt associated with this event. Flood stage is 15.0 feet. Thousands of homes and businesses were still without power Friday in Colorado, mostly in the Denver area, although crews worked throughout the day to restore electricity.

A ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy weather situation as the National Weather Service doesn't anticipate any more rain for a while.

Major to moderate flooding has been reported across Nebraska.

The Omaha-Valley weather service office said it was evacuating its personnel.

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