74 Nebraska Cities Make Emergency Statements amidst Historical Floods That Killed 4 People and Hundreds Displaced



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Sarah Sanders, White House Press Secretary, said on Twitter Monday night that Pence would travel to Nebraska at the request of President Donald Trump to "examine the damage caused by the terrible floods that have affected much of the Midwest ".

At least four people, three in Nebraska and one in Iowa, died as a result of the flood.

Midwestern cities are expected to see more water this week, said CNN weather forecaster Michael Guy. There will be showers from Iowa to Mississippi, but they will have no impact on the floods, Guy said. Meanwhile, the rivers will continue to reach their peak this week and next, with towns like Omaha heavily impacted by the ridge, said Guy. A ridge is the culmination of a wave of flooding.
The rivers began to rise last week as a result of a "cyclone bomb" that stormed the central United States with winds similar to those of a hurricane and blizzard conditions. Snow and melting ice found themselves in rivers and streams, causing flooding and damage after the storm ended.

More than 8 million people in 14 states, from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, are under a flood warning, Guy said.

Water swallows streets and highways

Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin have all declared the state of emergency.

"Many residents and communities across our state have responded to the floods that have hit homes, businesses and cities and towns in Wisconsin," said Governor Tony Evers. "The warm temperatures and the rain of the last days have melted snow and ice, causing floods, ice jams and sand creeks."

Seventy-four cities, 65 counties and four tribal areas issued emergency statements in Nebraska. Flood records have been broken in 17 locations across the state and the rivers will likely break more peak records this week, according to the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts called the flood "the most widespread disaster in the history of our state".

On Monday, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler asked the governor to make a disaster declaration, after the flood left 284,000 residents of his city under water restricted.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has also warned that flooding may have contaminated private water supplies, the addition of wells should be tested to ensure safety.

"Disturbance or a change in taste or smell are signs of possible contamination," said Sue Dempsey, DHHS Drinking Water Administrator. "There is some indication of a break in the water supply caused by flood waters, even in the absence of notable changes in taste or smell." I encourage residents to purchase a water sampling kit for testing purposes. "

At least 4 flood-related deaths

Nebraskan James Wilke, a farmer from Platte County, received a call to help rescue a person stuck in a vehicle, according to NEMA spokesman Mike Wight.

"Under the guidance of emergency responders, James drove his tractor over the Shell Creek bridge on the Monestary Road and the bridge gave in. James and the tractor fell into the floodwaters," he said. wrote on Facebook the family friend Jodi L. Hefti.

An aerial view of the flood at Camp Ashland, Nebraska. The dike north of the camp broke down and the inflated Platte River water poured thousands of gallons of water into the area.

Another Nebraska man died from a flood near a dam in Spencer, said Wight.

The Platte County Sheriff's Department also confirmed the death of 80-year-old Betty Hamernik, who was stuck in her house while the water was rising. By the time the rescuers arrived at her, the department said she was dead. The cause of Hamernik's death has not been determined and is still the subject of an investigation.

In Iowa, Aleido Rojas Galan, of Nebraska, was one of three people rescued from floodwaters, the Fremont County Sheriff's Office announced in Iowa. But 55-year-old Galan succumbed to his injuries and died in a Lincoln hospital.

Hundreds of displaced people, millions in damage

Bryan Tuma, deputy director of NEMA, said that the Red Cross now operates nine accommodation centers, which house more than 470 people. Twenty-nine counties conducted mandatory or voluntary evacuations, 18 of which have now allowed their residents to return home.

At the same time, Nebraska has already seen a $ 205 million impact on the public sector following the floods, NEMA said. The private sector of the state has suffered an impact of $ 60 million.

Ricketts said Monday that the state was working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal officials to have the emergency disaster declaration declared and tap into federal resources to public assistance and individual assistance ".

At the beginning of the recovery process, NEMA urged residents to continue to monitor their relatives and neighbors.

Warning signs include: increased consumption of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs; feelings of anxiety, disbelief or numbness; physical reactions such as headaches; and aggravation of chronic health problems.

Marlena Baldacci, CNB's Hollie Silverman, Chris Boyette and Amir Vera contributed to this report.

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