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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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
Dawson County Drainage District No. 2, 3 & 4
Central City, Doniphan Fire District, Eddyville Fire District, Elm Creek Fire District, Gibbon Volunteer Fire District, Lexington Fire District, Pleasanton Fire 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.
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:
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
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.
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