LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN)- Lancaster County held a press conference to discuss potential flooding, preparedness steps if flooding occurs and road conditions in Lancaster County Tuesday. The press conference was held in conjunction with the City of Lincoln and Lincoln utility companies.
Courtesy: Naomi Mcneil of Cheney, NE "The water on this corner is 8" or more deep. This is the corner of 2nd and Lincoln Dr in Cheney, Ne. The drain pipe has been filled with mud."
“We had a month, in December, of rain. The ground got really good and saturated and it froze," said Pam Dingman, Lancaster County Engineer. Then we had 50 inches of snow on top of that. Now we have rain and frost coming out of the ground. It really is the worst case scenario for engineers and Public Utility Departments."
To prep for the storm, they have purchased additional rock, acquired additional barricades, and spent the last couple of days with Transportation and Utilities to make sandbags if needed.
Donna Garden, Assistant Director of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities, said that LTU is prepared for this storm, and that their primary focus is on the flooding of the Platte River.
"I want to make it very clear that our water production facilities are very resilient. We have well fields on the west of the Platte," Garden said. "We have well on the islands of the Platte. And we have our wells on the east side of the Platte... so what the river does we can certainly handle."
The Lancaster Sheriff's Office and Lincoln Police Department recommended that residents avoid fording pools or streams of water. LSO said that it takes as little as six inches of water to sweep away a person, and one to two feet to sweep away a vehicle.
Black Hills Energy recommended that customers contact them if they need to leave their homes due to flooding. Flood waters have the potential to extinguish pilot lights and cause natural gas to leak into the area. To contact Black Hills Energy's 24-hour hotline, call 1-800-694-8989.
A complete list of road closings can be found on the County Engineer’s website.