BEATRICE – If flooding forecasts hold true, there’s a chance one of two highways through Beatrice could have water over it.
National Weather Service forecasters say the Big Blue River could crest at around 22 feet on Friday. At 23 feet, water starts to go over U.S. Highway 136, near the river bridge in west Beatrice.
:08 “gets over 22”
Chief of Police, Bruce Lang says the highway would be barricaded if the water goes all the way across 136, which is also known as West Court.
Flood stage on the Big Blue in Beatrice is 18 feet, and the river was around 10 feet early Tuesday morning. In addition to snow melt and runoff, how much rain and where it falls are factors.
Lang says police want to avoid one problem that cropped up during the last flood……that is, people tying up emergency lines just to find out if the highway is closed.
:35 “necessarily factual”
Beatrice Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Daake is in charge of the city’s flood mitigation plan, briefing city officials about the status on the Big Blue. The first two areas that typically flood in Beatrice during times of high water, are Chautauqua Park in south Beatrice, and Memorial Drive in the west area of the city.