Flood updates: Missouri River open to boating

Flood updates: Missouri River open to boating
A helicopter flies along a flooded Interstate 29 and a dike east of Hamburg, Iowa on Wednesday. I-29 is closed from Hwy. 24 to the Missouri border. (World-Herald News Service)

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reports that the U.S. Coast Guard has opened the Missouri River to all commercial and recreational boats from just north of Sioux City to Napoleon, Missouri, which is east of Kansas City.

A no wake zone has been designated for the Sioux City and Plattsmouth areas.

Missouri River drops below flood stage

The Missouri River dropped below flood stage at Omaha and south through southeast Nebraska, southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri Wednesday night by a smidgen.

Flood stage is 29 feet at Omaha, and the river was at 28.99 feet late Wednesday evening. It is forecast to continue slowly dropping.

Heavy rains in late May caused the river to quickly rise above flood stage after having been below that level for all of April and much of May.

The river is generally at minor flood stage along the Nebraska-Iowa border. At the Rulo, Nebraska, gauge, it was at moderate flood stage Wednesday evening.

Nebraska roads department plans public meetings on recovery efforts

The Nebraska Department of Transportation will host four meetings this month to update the public on its recovery efforts.

The meetings will be:

  • Nebraska City: June 25, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.,  Kimmel Conference Room, 5995 G Road.
  • Norfolk: June 26, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Lifelong Learning Center, 601 E. Benjamin Ave.
  • O’Neill: June 27, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Holt County Annex, 128 N. Sixth St.
  • Niobrara: June 27, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Conference Room, 2523 Woodbine St.

Nebraska extends child disability deadlines in FEMA disaster areas

Given the hardships that flooding has caused for Nebraska families, the Department of Health and Human Services has extended the deadlines for redetermining child disability benefits. This applies only to areas designated a disaster by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Children ages 17 or younger who live in a FEMA-designated disaster area between March 8, 2019, and Sept. 8, 2019, and who were scheduled to have their level of care re-evaluated have been given an extension on that review. Benefits will continue during this extension. The extensions do not apply to initial evaluations for children or adults, according to the department.

If your original deadline was:

  • March 9 through April 30, the new deadline is Oct. 31.
  • May 1 through June 30, the new deadline is Nov. 30.
  • July 1 through Sept. 9, the new deadline is Dec. 31.

Flooding has exposed natural gas pipes on Elkhorn River

Natural gas pipelines in a Dodge County stretch of the Elkhorn River were exposed by flooding, and the public has been advised to avoid that area.

Northern Natural Gas will be replacing the pipelines, so the public is advised to avoid the river north of Highway 91 and south of County Road J through June 25, according to Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The commission says it has been told by Northern that neither the pipeline nor efforts to replace it pose a risk to public.

However, boating and other traffic in the area could pose a safety risk to pipeline workers, the commission said in a statement this week.