Stormy weather causes problems across Nebraska, tosses RVs into Lake McConaughy and floods northeast corner of state

Stormy weather causes problems across Nebraska, tosses RVs into Lake McConaughy and floods northeast corner of state
Photo Courtesy: Sonya Deinert

Rough weather continued to wreak havoc in Nebraska, from Lake McConaughy to Omaha.

At least two people were injured and several RVs were thrown into Lake McConaughy on Sunday as a powerful thunderstorm passed through Keith County.

Ralph Moul of Keystone Lemoyne Fire and Rescue said firefighters responded to four emergency calls starting at 2:11 p.m. MDT. Six campers were destroyed and two adults had to be taken to Ogallala Community Hospital, he said.

Moul said the storm also caused a lot of tree damage. Firefighters checked all of the campgrounds from Martin Bay to Lemoyne after the storm passed.

“It appears straight-line winds passed over the lake from west to east,” said Bill Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in North Platte. “Wind gusts reached 78 mph near Kingsley Dam and 83 mph about three miles northeast of the dam.

“The most damage occurred south and east near the dam and Martin Bay,” Taylor said.

Officials also received reports of roofs being torn off homes in the town of Keystone, Taylor said.

In northeast Nebraska, widespread flooding from heavy rain closed roads in several counties, including Platte, Colfax and Dodge.

In Omaha, additional rain caused the opening game of the championship series of the College World Series to be postponed until Tuesday.

Additionally, the threat of rising levels along the Missouri River prompted the closing of N.P. Dodge Park.

Brook Bench, director of the Omaha Parks Department, said that seven or eight campsites at the park were in use Monday and that those campers were given the option of transferring to the city campground at Cunningham Lake.

The city began advising campers last week that a move might be necessary because of rising water, and Bench said that had prompted a number of campers to make the move on their own.

The park will remain closed until further notice.

The Missouri River was at 24.18 feet Monday late afternoon and is expected to crest around 28.6 feet on Wednesday.

Some river-level flooding thresholds:

  • 25 feet, the casino parking lot south of the Bob Kerrey bridge begins to flood.
  • 27 feet, N.P. Dodge Park takes on water
  • 29 feet, significant flooding occurs in a number of area parks, including Dodge, Freedom, Hanafan and Haworth, and Fontenelle Forest.

The river level is far below the catastrophic flooding of 2011, when it reached 36.29 feet.

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