In the Works

Projects in Planning

Much of the Central Platte NRD has long been plagued by floods. The Board has adopted the design and construction of flood control measures on a watershed basis and has developed over 30 flood control structures. 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.

Projects Under Construction and Planning

Platte Valley Industrial Park
Currently working on land rights negotiations. In March 2023, an amendment with Olsson was approved in the amount of $14,200 to complete geotechnical services including a seepage analysis and to subcontract with Augustana University to complete an archaeological study on 15.6 acres of Platte Valley Industrial Park located south of Grand Island. Partners include the City of Grand Island, Hall County, Grand Island Economic Development. Engineering Firm: Olsson

Dam Rehabilitation  JEO Consulting completed construction of the following dams:

  • Box Elder 5A/Buffalo County: channel improvements downstream, dredging around the drawdown, riprap
    along the dam face. Kokes Construction advised staff that crushed rock surfacing wasn’t needed for the
    access road. Existing drawdown plate and valve were removed, 18" slide gate in riser was installed bringing the cost of the project to $136,555. Project was completed in 2022.
  • Clear Creek 5/Polk County: replaced the drawdown with structural elements, riprap along dam face, repair of slough in auxiliary spillway, leveling of a low portion of the top of dam. Cost increase of $7,613.45 was due to adjustments for pressure-treated dimensional lumber stop logs & stainless-steel guide rails and additional rock riprap on the face of the dams. Kokes Construction was awarded the bid in the amount of $76,970. The project (near Duncan) was completed in 2023.
  • Jones 1A/Polk County: replaced riser and spillway pipe. Kokes Construction was awarded the bid for dam
    rehabilitation in the amount of $145,593. Project (near Osceola) was completed in 2023.

Elm-Turkey Creek WFPO  An amendment was approved for additional project management, coordination and public involvement due to a one-year extension and additional environmental science work needed to meet updated NRCS and USACE requirements. The funds are available through the $742,500 WFPO grant awarded to Central Platte NRD from NRCS. The flood risk deduction plan process was initiated in 2021. Hydrologic and hydraulic models were developed to show existing flooding conditions, various flood risk reduction alternatives. The plan area covers the entire Elm Creek Watershed to its confluence with Buffalo Creek south of the Village of Elm Creek; and the entire Turkey Creek Watershed flowing north of the Village of Elm Creek past Odessa and through the City of Kearney.

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 May 2022, the updated Central Platte NRD Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan was approved.  The purpose of the Mitigation Plan is designed to lessen the effects of disasters by increasing the disaster resistance of the counties and participating jurisdictions located within the planning boundary by identifying the hazards that affect the Central Platte NRD and prioritize mitigation strategies to reduce potential loss of life and property damage from those hazards.

Hazard Mitigation Plan

Hazard mitigation planning is a process in which hazards are identified and profiled; people and facilities at-risk are identified and assessed for threats and potential vulnerabilities; and strategies and mitigation measures are identified. Hazard mitigation planning increases the ability of communities to effectively function in the face of natural and human-caused disasters. The goal of the process is to reduce risk and vulnerability, in order to lessen impacts to life, the economy, and infrastructure. Plan participants are listed below.

Central Platte NRD 
Alda, Amherst, Cairo, Central City, Chapman, Clarks, Cozad, Doniphan, Eddyville, Elm Creek, Eustis (Frontier Co), Farnam, Gibbon, Gothenburg, Grand Island, Kearney (Special Jurisdictions), Lexington, Osceola, Overton, Pleasanton, Polk, Ravenna, Riverdale, Shelby, Shelton, Stromsburg, Sumner, Wood River
Buffalo, Dawson, Hall, Merrick
Drainage Districts
Dawson County Drainage District No. 2, 3 & 4
Fire Districts
Central City, Doniphan Fire District, Eddyville Fire District, Elm Creek Fire District, Gibbon Volunteer Fire District, Lexington Fire District, Pleasanton Fire District
Health District
Central District Health Department
Central City Public Schools, Centura Public Schools, Cross Country Community Schools, Elm Creek Public Schools, Gibbon Public Schools, Kearney Public Schools, Lexington Public Schools, Pleasanton Public Schools, Ravenna Public Schools, Shelton Public Schools, University of Nebraska – Kearney

Regional Planning Team
Jesse Mintken, Assistant Manager, Central Platte NRD            Darrin Lewis, Emergency Manager, Buffalo County
Brian Woldt, Emergency Manager, Dawson County                Jon Rosenlund, Emergency Manager, Hall County
Chad Nabity, Floodplain Administrator, Hall County               Jenna Clark, Emergency Manager, Merrick County/Region 44
Bob Carey, Emergency Manager, Polk County                        *Becky Appleford, Project Coordinator, JEO Consulting Group Inc.
*Karl Dietrich, Planner, JEO Consulting Group Inc.                   *Kayla Vondracek, Planner, JEO Consulting Group Inc.
*Lexy Hindt, Planning Specialist NEMA                                       *Adele Phillips, Floodplain Mitigation Planner, NeDNR
*Served as an advisory or consultant role.

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, electrical replacement.  Kokes Construction LLC of Ord, was awarded the bid for $138,280. Completed in Spring 2022.
  • 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 near Duncan.  Kokes Construction LLC of Ord, was awarded the bid for project for $76,970.  A pre-construction meeting will be held once crops have been removed in the Fall/Winter ’22. The project completion date is scheduled for April 2023.
  • Jones 1A in Polk County: replace riser and spillway pipe near Osceola. Kokes Construction LLC of Ord, was awarded the bid for $145,593. A pre-construction meeting will be held once crops have been removed in the Fall/Winter ’22.  The project completion date is scheduled for April 2023.
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 . 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:

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