Flood Water Closing Both Highways, in Beatrice

BEATRICE – Both highway access points along the Big Blue River will be closed, on the weekend.

Officials announced that the South 6th, or South Highway 77 was being shut down at 11 a.m., because of rising flood waters on the Big Blue River.   The West Court Street bridge access closed early Friday, as water covered U.S. Highway 136 just west of the bridge.

Hazard Mitigation Team Leader for Beatrice, Fire Chief Brian Daake says water started coming up through storm drains on South 6th, in the early morning hours.

:12                  “significantly”

Daake says the river has been rising slower overnight than it did on Friday.  At about seven a.m. Saturday, outside lanes on South 6th were shut down south of the river bridge.   West Court remains flooded.

:28                  “half a mile”

Even though the closings are on a weekend, there’s still considerable traffic affected.  Daake said it is less challenging than during the week, when people are going to work and school.  Police, fire, street and other emergency personnel have been putting in round-the-clock hours monitoring the situation.

Daake says his department will continue staging emergency personnel at multiple locations in the city.

:19                  “as well”

Daake says if the river drops back down to 23 or 22 feet, South 77 would be reopened.  But, he says, there’s no estimate as to when that might happen.

Beatrice Street Superintendent Jason Moore says the department has put up a lot of barricades across various streets, because of the flooding.

:32                  “everything we have”

Moore says there is still a problem of people going around the barricades, which is prohibited.

:16                  “tearing ‘em up”

Moore says he expects some street damage to be revealed on Bluff Street, when the waters recede.

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