The Central Platte NRD is comprised of 27 municipalities with varying flood control issues and challenges. There have been a multitude of flood control projects across the NRD ranging from dams, to levees, to clearing of creeks and streams. CPNRD works with landowners and other agencies to minimize damages that cause flooding. Our goal is to use each acre within its capability and to treat each acre according to its needs as set forth in the technical guidelines adopted by the District.
Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores Flood Control Project
Central Platte NRD contracted with Van Kirk Brothers Construction of Sutton, Nebraska, to complete the next phase of implementation for the Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores Flood Control Project. Detention cells located approximately five miles west of Grand Island at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant are just one component of the flood control project.
The detention cells (SCLL4-S Phase I and SCLL4N-E Addition) are currently under construction to expand the overall footprint will be 540 acres. Van Kirk Brothers Construction of Sutton, Nebraska, began construction in mid-January with excellent progress given the moderate winter. The Project’s detention cells, located approximately five miles west of Grand Island at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant, are currently under construction. The overall footprint will be 540 acres.
Equipment for this major construction includes four scrapers that hold 20 cubic yards, two excavators, four dump trucks that hold 30 cubic yards, a bulldozer and a road grader. Soil excavated from both cells will be spoiled on site.
Mintken said the north detention cell, located on Airport Road, (SCLL4N-E Addition) is nearly completed. An additional 71,500 cubic yards has been excavated to form this cell. The southern portion of Phase I (SCLL4-S Phase I) includes approximately 815,000 cubic yards. It is located at Capital and Schauppsville. Periodic seeding and mulching will take place to ensure that permit requirements are met and that proper erosion control measures are implemented. The contractor expects to be completed by the end of May if the weather cooperates.
Mintken said Phase II is expected to be constructed this coming summer 2017, along with a levee system located at the northwest corner of Grand Island. The bid letting on that portion of the flood control project will take place in mid-spring.
Much of the area of the Central Platte NRD has long been plagued by floods. On the average, there’s a flood every year in some area of the District, with major floods occurring every six to eight years. The land area within the District is unusual in the fact that most of the tributaries of the Platte River run almost parallel to the Platte itself. Consequently, the tributaries span many miles of the flat terrace or bottom lands adjacent to the Platte before emptying into the river.
In the central and western ends of the District, most of the tributaries originate in the uplands where flood control structure sites are plentiful, but then drop off into the flat terrace or bottom lands and meander for many miles before reaching the Platte River. Many of the District’s other streams, such as Silver Creek, Warm Slough and the North Branch, originate in the flat terraces or bot- tom lands where there are no sites for flood control structures. Even Prairie Creek has no flood control structure sites except in its extreme upper reaches.
The Wood River has approximately 173 miles of channel meandering through the fertile Platte River Valley. There are numerous flood control structure sites in its upper reaches. However, in the flood of June 1967 on the Wood River, most of the rain contributing to the flooding in the Grand Island area fell east of Kearney where there are few flood control structures sites. Although flood control structures are, or could be, of great benefit to this area, total protection cannot be achieved without some form of channel rectification. The Board has adopted, as a general policy, the design and construction of flood control measures on a watershed basis.
The NRD has developed over 30 flood control structures. The plans for these structures have been designed to provide for orderly development of flood control and other related resources activities in watersheds, with each watershed plan encompassing a number of individual project plans in the total watershed development.
For more information on CPNRD’s flood control projects, contact Jesse Mintken.
Do you own property along the Platte River? With river flows predicted to be above average this winter, flood potential does exist. Landowners are being cautioned to be prepared for flooding, especially those who have experienced ice jam flooding events in the past.
You may be wondering why the potential for ice jams is higher in some years and not others? Ice jams occur with changing temperatures such as a hard freeze followed by a quick thaw. During the cold winter and early spring months, ice begins to form in the river. When there is enough ice, it will “jam” up the river and create blockages to the water flow. This forces the water out of its banks and creates a flood.
Consider the following if you live near the Platte River:
1. Ice Jam flooding can occur quickly. In just a matter of hours, channels can become clogged and flooding may occur. Once ice begins to clog a waterway, the water can back up quickly. If you live near a channel with ice, be constantly aware of the level of the water. Be prepared to evacuate.
2. Ice Jams can occur from December-March. Although ice jams can occur whenever the weather is cold enough; historically most ice jams form in January, February, and March.
3. Flood waters can be deep. Whenever there are rushing floodwaters, roads and bridges can be washed away quickly making it nearly impossible to tell how deep the water is. Although it may look shallow, do not drive into flooded, potentially washed out areas. People have been trapped in their vehicles or have drowned when trying to cross moving flood waters. A good phrase to remember is: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”
4. It pays to be prepared. Build A Kit: Assemble enough emergency supplies for at least 3 days including:
• Water/Food: 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days; for drinking and sanitizing food. Have at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food and can opener.
• Radio: Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
• Emergency Items: flashlight, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, wrench/pliers to turn off utilities, cell phone and charger, inverter, or solar charger; extra batteries for all emergency items.
Family Planning: Discuss where to meet and a friend to call if you get separated. Make- an evacuation plan and practice it, a list of important information. Share emergency phone numbers
with all family members.
Be Informed: Learn about types of emergencies most likely to affect your community and adapt them to your personal circumstances. Make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities.
In an emergency, contact 911. Emergency Manager information for counties in the CPNRD:
Boone, Merrick, Nance Counties- Thomas Smith (308) 536-4443 Cell: 308-550-1685
Buffalo County- Darrin Lewis (308) 233-3225 Hall County- Jon Rosenlund (308) 385-5360
Hamilton- Kirt Smith or Tom Cox (402) 694-5126
Phelps, Gosper, Hitchcock, Frontier- Patrick Gerdes (308) 995-2250
Your CPNRD contact is David Carr.