In the Works

Projects in Planning

Much of the Central Platte NRD has long been plagued by floods. On 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 bottomlands 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 bottomlands 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 bottomlands 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.


Projects Under Construction and Planning

Flood Planning Grants

In 2020, Central Platte NRD was selected to receive Watershed & Flood Prevention Operations Program (WFPO) grants from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to identify what is needed to address flooding within the Spring/Buffalo Creek Watershed, Lower Wood River Watershed, and the Elm/Turkey Creeks Watershed.

The two-year grants pay 100% of costs to complete an Environmental Assessment (EA) and to design specific watershed plans. Virtual public meetings have been hosted to receive the public's input on issues in the three watersheds.

Hazard Mitigation Plan

In 2020, Central Platte NRD was selected to receive Watershed & Flood Prevention Operations Program (WFPO) grants from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to identify what is needed to address flooding within the Spring/Buffalo Creek Watershed, Lower Wood River Watershed, and the Elm/Turkey Creeks Watershed.

The two-year grants pay 100% of costs to complete an Environmental Assessment (EA) and to design specific watershed plans. Virtual public meetings have been hosted to receive the public's input on issues with the three watersheds.

 

Dams Inventory

In 2019, JEO Consulting was hired to conduct an inventory of dams that are 1-acre or larger within the District.  The contract includes a conceptual design of dams for multiple beneficial uses; evaluating up to 150 existing and potential dam and other structure sites. The project determines the localized water balance, recharge potential, storage capacity, design/construction considerations, and conceptual cost for dam improvement or new construction. The NRD received grant funding from the Water Sustainability Fund in the amount of $56,270.00 with the balance being funded by CPNRD in the amount of $84,410.

The NRD has 40 dams that are nearing their 50-year lifespan. The following dam updates will initiate a long-term plan to replace, update, or remove the aging structures:

  • Box Elder 5A in Buffalo County: channel improvements downstream, dredging around the drawdown,
    riprap along the dam face.
  • Clear Creek 5 in Polk County: complete replacement of the drawdown with structural elements, riprap
    along the dam face, repair of slough in auxiliary spillway, leveling of a low portion of the top of dam.
  • Jones 1A in Polk County: replace riser and spillway pipe.

The bidding process is anticipated in Spring 2021 with construction to begin in the Fall of 2021.

Ice Jams


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 www.weather.gov/gid . 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: www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

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:

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 carr@cpnrd.org.