Rain is in the forecast for southeast Nebraska, but river levels should continue to fall

Rain is in the forecast for southeast Nebraska, but river levels should continue to fall
Floodwaters surround an Iowa Department of Transportation facility outside Pacific Junction, Iowa, on March 18. The evacuation order issued during the flood has been lifted in some parts of the city. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD

Rain and light snow are forecast for Tuesday, but the National Weather Service says the precipitation should have a minimal effect on flooding.

The system is expected to produce about half an inch of rain in southeast Nebraska near the Kansas border.

“It will have minimal effect on the river levels,” said Brian Smith, a weather service meteorologist.

Water levels are projected to keep falling along the Platte and Elkhorn Rivers, the weather service said. Levels on both rivers are expected to fall below the “minor flooding” threshold in Saunders, Douglas, Sarpy and Cass Counties by Tuesday morning.

Levels on the Missouri River, however, are projected to decline at a much slower rate.

The weather service projects that Missouri River levels will fall below the “minor flooding” threshold on Thursday evening in Blair, Saturday morning in Omaha and much later in Plattsmouth.

“The Missouri is going to stay high because everything is flowing down to the Missouri,” Smith said. “Sioux City is the first that will go below flood stage, then it will be a long time for the rest of the river downstream.”

Flooding in Plattsmouth peaked above 40.5 feet on Saturday, nearly 4 feet above record levels.

The National Weather Service station in Valley was evacuated at the height of the flooding last week. Smith, who normally works out of that office, said forecasters were relocated to Hastings, while other members of the crew are working in Lincoln and at a Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District site. He said it will be at least a week before they’re all back in Valley.

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