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Record flooding possible along South Platte in Nebraska
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Record flooding possible along South Platte in Nebraska

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With record flooding likely along the South Platte River later this week, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency plans to set up its mobile operations center in Ogallala.

"The magnitude of flooding could be unprecedented," said Earl Imler, response and recovery section supervisor for NEMA.

Because the intense flooding in Colorado has washed away many of the gauges, Imler said officials are having a hard time predicting exactly how much water to expect in Nebraska.

"We will have a better idea of how this will affect the state once the water reaches the state line," Imler said.

On Monday, the bridge into Sterling, Colo., from Interstate 76 was closed as the South Platte River washed over the roadway, flooding Sterling's Overland Trail Museum, a hotel and a gas station.

The National Weather Service in Nebraska has issued a flood warning for the South Platte River, beginning Wednesday, when the river at Roscoe in Keith County will reach its 9-foot flood stage.

By Thursday, officials are predicting a record crest of 13 feet at which time water may cover the Roscoe interchange on Interstate 80.

At North Platte, a predicted crest of 13.8 feet Friday night would challenge the all-time high of 14.02 feet in June 1935.

At 14 feet, the South Platte could flood homes in the city of North Platte, officials said.

A record-tying crest of 9.6 feet is possible on the Platte River at Brady on Saturday. At this point, forecasters are unable to predict the degree to which the Platte might swell farther downstream.

Rises along the river at Ashland and Louisville in eastern Nebraska are not expected for a couple weeks.

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