Evacuations underway after torrential rains

KEARNEY, Neb. (KOLN) - In the waters that flooded Kearney, people have been transported in air boats and kayaks, in nearly waist deep water.

Drone video shows flooding in Kearney (Source: KOLN).

Mark Grossklag, a traveler from Illinois, said that this was not what he expected to wake up to.

He was just one of the hundreds of people who were evacuated.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Grossklag. “Or been in anything like it.”

He was staying at the La Quinta Inn.

Grossklag says around 9 a.m. the water started coming fast.

They had to be evacuated by a front-loader.

“Can’t imagine riding out of a hotel on a front-loader.” Grossklag said, “eight to ten feet up in the air, who could image that?”

At last count there were close to 400 rooms damaged by water at various hotels.

Many came to the Salvation Army.

“Up rolls a bus, and about 10 families came out,” said Lisa Lieth, Office Manager at the Salvation Army. “Then here came another bus, then here came another bus.”

Many people stood behind the barricades, waiting, wondering what to do.

One of the people 10/11 spoke with says his house was completely full of water.

"My basement is, it's completely, it's above the ceiling, it's beyond that,” said LD Brown of Kearney. “There's about 12 steps and it's about to the second step."

For now, they don’t know what will happen next, but they hope the water will recede soon.

The Salvation Army says they will be able to help anyone that needs it, and the University of Nebraska-Kearney is also taking in people, and they will give everyone one free meal tomorrow.