High River Levels Are No Sweat For Brownville Hospitality

BROWNVILLE – Flood warnings so far this summer are no sweat for the hospitality resources along the Missouri River at Brownville.

Randall Smith, owner of the excursion boat Belle of Brownville and floating River Inn Resort, said the high water does not affect the people of Brownville too much because the town is out of the flood plain.

Smith: “It affects us if the roads get underwater to get people to the boat, to the River Inn, but normally that doesn’t happen. It did, of course, in 2011, when it flooded big time all summer, but typically that’s not the case.”

On Monday, the National Weather Service had Brownville in the minor flood stage at 34.3 feet. It is forecast to crest at 39.6 feet on Thursday morning.

Smith said if it says below 40 feet, his parking lot won’t even get wet. On Monday, the water was over the boat ramp, but the river was not out of it banks.

Smith: “It has to be a major flood to affect us and, like I said, it’s mainly by roads. Sometimes, when the roads are underwater, we just move the boat to other levies where we can still board passengers.”

The NE Rain Project reports two recent rain events of over six inches on the Nebraska side alone and Smith said it’s wise to keep an eye on the Nishnabotna at Hamburg.

The river is forecast to crest below 23 feet on Thursday, which is four feet below the top of the federal flood levee and two feet below levels that might close a lane of Highway 2.

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