Coastal Flood Advisory
...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY REMAINS IN ...

Entire Missouri town evacuated as historic flooding rages on throughout the central US

By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
March 21, 2019, 10:03:40 AM EDT


Historic river flooding persisted throughout the north-central United States following a 'bomb cyclone' that struck the region last week. The recent storms triggered massive snowmelt and dropped heavy rain that have both overwhelmed rivers and waterways.

On Wednesday, a mandatory evacuation was ordered in the small Missouri town of Craig as the Missouri River rose, according to the Holt County Sheriff’s Department. The town of about 250 residents is located about 110 miles north of Kansas City, Missouri.


Later on Wednesday, residents of another small Missouri town evacuated due to the approaching Missouri River. Officials say that most of the roughly 130 residents of Lewis and Clark Village evacuated to higher ground, the Kansas City Star reports.

The flooding along the Missouri River also led to the suspension of passenger rail traffic along a popular Missouri route.

Amtrak said Tuesday that it was temporarily suspending its Missouri River Runner Service between Kansas City and St. Louis due to the flooding. Chartered buses will substitute transportation for the Missouri River Runner trains through Sunday, March 24.

The City of Saint Paul in Minnesota declared a local flood emergency on Wednesday in response to the forecasted spring flooding as the Mississippi River rises with rapidly melting snow.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds extended the disaster proclamation on Tuesday to an additional five counties impacted by the recent flooding. The governor has issued proclamations for 41 of Iowa’s 99 counties.

(DroneBase via AP)

This Wednesday, March 20, 2019 aerial photo shows flooding near the Platte River in Plattsmouth, Neb., south of Omaha.

(DroneBase via AP)

This Wednesday, March 20, 2019 aerial photo shows flooding near the Platte River in Plattsmouth, Neb., south of Omaha.

(Twitter/Missouri State Highway Patrol)

Water Patrol Troopers assisting a utility company shutting off natural gas lines in flood waters at Craig, Missouri, on Wednesday, March 20.

(Twitter/Missouri State Highway Patrol)

Missouri 111 on the south side of Craig, Missouri, in Holt County. Water being held back by a man-made berm on Wednesday, March 20.

(Twitter/Missouri State Highway Patrol)

Water Patrol Troopers assisting residents of Watson, Missouri, as water comes over levees in the area on Monday, March 18.

(Facebook/Illinois Department of Transportation)

Flooding in Miller City, Illinois, on Tuesday, March 19.

(Facebook/Illinois Department of Transportation)

The Mississippi River is seen overtopping a levee in Miller City, Illinois, on Tuesday, March 19.

(Facebook/Illinois Department of Transportation)

Flooding in Gulfport, Illinois.

(Facebook/Illinois Department of Transportation)

Flooding in Barstow, Illinois.

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Freedom Park, the naval museum featuring aircraft, the USS Marlin SST-2 Submarine and the USS Hazard AM-240 Minesweeper, is flooded by the waters of the Missouri River, in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

(Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management via AP)

This Monday, March 18, 2019 photo taken by the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol and provided by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, shows flooding along the Missouri River in rural Iowa north of Omaha, Neb.

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

A neighborhood in Bellevue, Neb., is flooded by waters from the Missouri River, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, with the flooded runway of Offutt AFB seen top left.

(Twitter/ VP Mike Pence)

Vice President Mike Pence touched down in Omaha, Nebraska to survey flood damage, and thank volunteers and emergency personnel.

(Twitter/ VP Mike Pence)

Vice President Mike Pence surveying flood damage in Omaha, Nebraska.

(Twitter/ VP Mike Pence)

Vice President Mike Pence surveying flood damage in Omaha, Nebraska.

(Twitter/ VP Mike Pence)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visits the relief shelter at Elkhorn Middle School in Elkhorn, Nebraska, on March 20, 2019.

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Gabe Schmidt, owner of Liquid Trucking, top right, travels by airboat with Glenn Wyles, Mitch Snyder, and Juan Jacobo, as they survey damage from the flood waters of the Platte River, in Plattsmouth, Neb., Sunday, March 17.

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Trino Nuno and his dog Tyson navigate flooded streets in Fremont, Neb., Monday, March 18, 2019. Authorities say flooding from the Platte River and other waterways is so bad that just one highway lane into Fremont remains uncovered, and access to that road is severely restricted.

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

A barge is moored along the Missouri River as floodwaters begin to creep into a dredge operation in St Joseph, Mo., Monday, March 18, 2019.

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Volunteers move and cover sandbags in preparation of flooding along the Missouri River in St Joseph, Mo., Monday, March 18, 2019.

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Volunteers fill sandbags in preparation for flooding along the Missouri River in St Joseph, Mo., Monday, March 18, 2019.

(U.S. Senator Ben Sasse)

Residents in Nebraska worked together to set up sandbags amid the historic flooding.

(AP Photo/Holbrook Mohr)

Backwater flooding covers stretches of farm lands near Yazoo City, Miss., Sunday, March 17, 2019, as seen in this aerial photograph.

(Bellevue Police Department)

Floodwaters inundated an intersection in Bellevue, Nebraska.

(Twitter / Offutt AFB)

Much of Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska, where the US Strategic Command and the 557th Weather Wing and 55th Wing are located, was underwater amid the rising floodwaters.

(Twitter/Offutt AFB)

Much of Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska, where the US Strategic Command and the 557th Weather Wing and 55th Wing are located, was underwater amid the rising floodwaters.

(Mike Bossman / Omaha Police Department)

Historic flooding in Nebraska left some roads completely washed out and scenes of widespread devastation, dramatic aerial photo showed.

(U.S. Senator Ben Sasse)

Massive chunks of ice and rising floodwaters wreaked havoc in Nebraska over the weekend.

(NASA)

NASA photos taken a year apart show the dramatic extent of the historic flooding devastating parts of Nebraska.

NASA satellite imagery here showing extent of Mississippi River flooding between Mississippi and Lousiana. (NASA.gov)


Ninety-five percent of Nebraska’s population, nearly 2 million residents, has been affected by the recent storms. The impact of the flooding is affecting 59,088 square miles, just over 75 percent of Nebraska.

As of Tuesday evening, 74 counties, 83 cities and four tribal areas in Nebraska were under states of emergency, according to the State of Nebraska Government Page.

Nebraska is one of at least 14 states affected by the recent storms and historic river flooding that has overwhelmed much of the north-central United States.

river flooding 3.24 AM


At least 14 states have flood warnings in effect in the central U.S., according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The flood warnings span from South Dakota and Minnesota southward to Louisiana, as well as in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Many areas throughout the central U.S. have been affected by the flooding, but communities around eastern Nebraska and western Iowa have been hit the hardest since the 'bomb cyclone' struck last week.

On Wednesday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed an emergency executive order to provide aerial assistance to Nebraska. The order came after Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts requested Minnesota Army National Guard helicopter support. It will remain in effect until the emergency flood conditions in Nebraska subside.

At least three fatalities have been reported in Nebraska as a result of the flooding, according to KMTV in Omaha.

Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate as rivers have overflowed their banks and multiple levees have failed. About 200 miles of levees were compromised, either breached or overtopped, in four states, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

Hundreds of homes and buildings are flooded. Many roads remain impassable. State and local officials warn pedestrians and motorists to stay updated on closures and conditions.

The flooding has also taken a heavy toll on agriculture. Floodwaters have inundated thousands of acres of farmland, threatening stockpiled grain and killing livestock.

Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, says farm and ranch losses due to the devastating flooding could reach $1 billion in Nebraska, according to The Associated Press.

According to the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, flood damages have reached $1.3 billion as of Wednesday.

Water and sewer problems caused by the flooding continued on Tuesday in regions throughout Nebraska, the Omaha World-Herald reports. The shortage of fresh water forced residents and businesses to ration water or resort to using portable showers and toilets.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that six public drinking water systems aren’t in operation. Nearly 50 wastewater treatment facilities have reported problems, including cases where wastewater isn’t being fully treated before it’s discharged, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

RELATED:
Flood disaster likely just beginning over central US with troublesome season expected
VIDEO: Pence tours flood-ravaged Midwest, promises federal aid soon
VIDEO: What to do if your car is stuck in floodwaters

Some residents in the northern Illinois community of Roscoe have been forced to leave their homes on boats as the Rock River flooded the surrounding area, the AP reported.

In nearby Freeport, more than 170 people have been forced out of their homes as the Pecatonica River reached its highest level since 1933. Freeport City Manager Lowell told the AP that about 20 families have decided to stay in the flooded area.

Iowa flood 3-19-2019

This Tuesday, March 19, 2019 aerial photo shows flooding along the Missouri River in Pacific Junction, Iowa. (DroneBase via AP)


Local and state government in the affected regions have declared states of emergency.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Newaygo County in western Michigan on Tuesday after heavy rain and melting snow caused flooding, the (AP) reports.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts submitted an expedited request to the federal government for disaster assistance following the historic flooding.

On Tuesday, Ricketts met with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Director Paul Taylor, to whom he submitted the request. The request now goes to FEMA’s regional office and headquarters for consideration.

Vice President Mike Pence flew to Omaha, Nebraska, to survey the damage in the region on late Tuesday afternoon with Ricketts and Reynolds. While there, Pence viewed the raging river and visited local shelters.

Pence made a stop on their tour of flood damage to meet with the Waterloo Fire and Rescue.

Pence called the area the "heart of the Heartland" and thanked the first responders for their diligent work. He also spoke to the governors of Nebraska and Iowa to assure them that the Trump administration will expedite federal aid and presidential disaster declarations for their states.

Pence tweeted during his visit that he and President Trump "are with the impacted communities and will remain with them as they recover."

Report a Typo

Comments

Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News