BEATRICE – The weather was sunny over the weekend in the Beatrice area, but flooding continued to hamper travel.
Several streets and both U.S. Highways through Beatrice were barricaded over the weekend, as the Big Blue River continues in flood mode. U.S. Highway 136 was closed Friday morning, and South Highway 77 was closed late Saturday morning when water began crossing the pavement, south of a river bridge. Beatrice Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Daake says the river had not yet crested.
:20 “26-point-eight-eight feet”
The Scott Street ball field complex in west Beatrice was inundated…with both Center and Bluff Streets shut down in that area. Baseball and softball diamonds, playground equipment, shelters and concession buildings were surrounded by the flood water.
North Second Street between Ella and Grant Streets also flooded. Officials put up barricades at Fourth and Grant to keep motorists out of the area.
:13 “throughout the day”
Daake says the barricades are there not only to keep out vehicles, but also pedestrians. He cautions people against standing on either of the highway bridges.
:36 “people’s minds”
The nearby Gage County Historical Museum was escaping the flooded area by about 200 yards.
At seven a.m., Sunday, the Big Blue was around eight feet above the flood stage. It was forecast to crest over 27 feet, before starting a steady decline. Daake says it’s now a waiting game, for the river to go back down.
:15 “top eight”
National Weather Service officials the river in Beatrice could fall back to the 18-foot flood stage by around seven a.m., Tuesday.