Ice Jams

1/25/2019 North Channel-Gibbon, NE
Photo by: Darrin Lewis

In just a matter of hours, river channels can become clogged and flooding can 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.

Residents may keep up to date with Emergency Management postings on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as listen to local news outlets for announcements.  Tune in to NOAA weather radio for alerts or visit .  Residents are urged to take flood precautions including knowing alternate escape routes, having an emergency supplies kit, and an emergency communications plan with family and neighbors.

Flood waters can be deep. Whenever there are rushing floodwaters, roads can be washed away quickly and bridges may become dangerous.  It is nearly impossible to tell how deep the water is.  Even if it looks shallow, do not drive into flooded and potentially washed out areas.  People have been trapped in their vehicles and/or drowned when trying to cross moving flood waters.

It pays to be prepared. The following information is adapted from the Federal Emergency Management Agency website regarding disaster preparedness:

Steps to Get Ready for Ice Jam Flooding:

  • Start a 24-hour watch to keep regular observation on the ice/water.
  • Develop a calling tree of neighbors to notify if a flood emergency begins so everyone can get out.
  • Call 911
  • Identify backup escape routes and methods if the main driveway is flooded.
  • Make a Kit: water, flashlights, batteries, backup cell phone charging system, food, blankets, tools to shut utilities off, dry clothes.
  • Create a rendezvous plan if a flood occurs while a family is separated with a designated third-party number to call to check in and a common place to meet.

For more information please contact your county Emergency Manager:

  • Hall County Emergency Management: Jon Rosenlund (308) 385-5362
  • Buffalo County: Darrin Lewis (308)-233 3225
  • Phelps County: Justin Norris (308)-995 2250
  • Kearney County: Jeff England (308)-743 2442
  • Gosper County: Roger Powell (308)-268 5088
  • Dawson County: Brian Woldt (308)-324 2070
  • Boone/Merrick/Nance County: Denise Ziemba (308) 536-4445

Precautions:  Know alternate escape routes. Have an emergency supplies kit & communications plan with your family and neighbors.
Research Material: January 1996 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report: Ice Jam Flooding and Mitigation, Lower Platte River Basin, Nebraska.  

Contact information for all Emergency Managers in Nebraska Website

Your CPNRD Contact: David Carr (308) 385-6282 or