Flood water from Colorado began coming into Nebraska on Wednesday through the South Platte River. Eventually that water will get past the city of North Platte and flow into the Platte River where it will continue across the state.
Emergency managers say it's too soon to predict just how much flood water will make it into the Platte after it passes through western Nebraska.
"They're right in the middle of it now, they say they're up to their knees in it for lack of a better term, colleagues in Ogallala, colleagues in North Platte, everyone's getting ready, it's going to be a significant event," says Jon Rosenlund, Grand Island/Hall County Emergency Management Director.
Even though parts of the Platte are extremely low, even dry, officials want residents near the river to start preparing.
"Right now it's deceiving because there is no water in there and it doesn't look like there could be any water in there, but the water is coming - at what level, at what height, at what flow - we don't know," says Kearney/Buffalo County Emergency Management Director Darren Lewis.
Both Lewis and Rosenlund say they're talking with the National Weather Service and other agencies that are trying to measure the water as it crests in places like Julesburg, Colorado.
The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District says that because of seasonal shut downs, not much water is coming out of Lake McConaughy and into the North Platte River, so any extra water that shows up in the Platte will be coming from the flood waters in the South Platte.
"I would look back to the two most recent events - 2011 and 2008 - I think will be most indicative to what we see here, but we'll get a few more inches than either of those events," says Rosenlund.
But unlike those rain-caused floods, central Nebraskans have more time to get ready for this water. While it might not come surging downstream, Lewis says it won't be clean.
"There's a lot of vegetation in that river too, and we're looking at a lot of debris coming down through that first wall of water, so we've got to be watching what kind of debris we're looking at, not only just natural, but man-made items," he says.
In addition to warnings and alerts, both Hall and Buffalo County plan to use Facebook and other social media for updates as the water comes closer.