The communities of Brownville and Rulo could see some minor flooding over the weekend with rain showers forcing water levels in the Missouri River to rise.
In response, the National Weather Service issued a Flood Warning for the Missouri River area near Brownville affecting Atchison and Nemaha Counties, and near Rulo affecting Holt and Richardson Counties.
As of 3 p.m. Thursday, the river stage near Rulo was 16.33 feet, just short of flood stage which is 17 feet. The NWS predicts the river to reach above flood stage, topping at 17.9 feet.
“This is them being precautionary and this is what could happen and their prediction of the highest level is less than a foot above flood stage,” says Richardson County Emergency Manager Brian Kirkendall.
Kirkendall says that the river could begin minor flooding early Saturday and crest sometime late Saturday, into early Sunday morning. It would then proceed to go back down as Sunday progresses.
“What that means is there could be flooding in low lying farm areas or any low lying areas, it’s not going to be significant flooding,” says Kirkendall.
The NWS also issued a flash flood watch for a portion of southeast Nebraska and northwest Missouri, including Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline and Holt Counties. The watch is in effect from 7 p.m. Thursday evening through late Friday night.
Multiple rounds of heavy-rainfall-producing thunderstorms will impact the watch area beginning tonight (Thursday) and continuing into Friday night. Since the soil is already saturated from thunderstorms earlier this week, much of this new rainfall will runoff and create a flash flood threat. Excessive rainfall may result in flooding of low-lying or poor drainage areas, creeks and streams.
Kirkendall wants to remind the public that if they see water on the road, they should not attempt to drive through it and should turn around instead.