OPEN HOUSE: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2022 5:00 - 7:00 PM KEARNEY PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will host a public open house to provide an update on the Elm-Turkey Creeks Watershed Flood Risk Reduction Plan. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Kearney Public Library, 2020 1st Ave, Kearney, NE. The public is encouraged to attend and provide comments or questions to the project team. The meeting will be an open house event with no formal presentation.
The open house is being held to provide an update on the planning process and review the proposed flood mitigation alternatives within the Elm-Turkey Creeks Watershed. Attendees will learn more from project personnel, and have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.
The flood risk deduction plan process was initiated in 2021. Hydrologic and hydraulic models have been developed to show existing flooding conditions, various flood risk reduction alternatives reviewed and a draft flood risk reduction plan has been started. The plan is scheduled to be finalized in 2023. The plan area covers just over 106,000 acres of drainage including 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. Flat topography, combined with flow constraints along Interstate 80, contributed to historic flooding after a massive rainstorm occurred in July 2019 west of Kearney. Significant damages followed leaving local officials searching for solutions.
CPNRD responded by starting the Elm-Turkey Creeks Watershed Plan – Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA) to identify projects to reduce flood damages. Projects with a positive benefit-to-cost ratio qualify for additional funding to complete design and construction. CPNRD has retained JEO Consulting Group to lead development of the plan. Residents are invited to attend the upcoming open house to review the proposed flooding solutions that the project team are recommending the NRD implement.
For more information, please visit the project website at
The Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) has entered into an agreement to develop a watershed plan and environmental assessment document (Watershed Plan-EA) for the Spring and Buffalo Creek Watershed, under the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Spring and Buffalo Creeks Watershed Plan-EA study area is approximately 266,870 acres. The land is primarily agricultural and consists of grass/pasture and row crops. The city of Lexington is located within the study area, and the communities of Cozad and Overton are immediately adjacent. Spring and Buffalo Creeks have historically experienced flooding. Specifically, significant flooding occurred in March and July 2019 that impacted homes, businesses, infrastructure, and agricultural properties. The Watershed Plan-EA will help identify structural and non-structural alternatives to provide flood damage reduction as well as opportunities for groundwater recharge, threatened and endangered species habitat improvements, and recreation.
This project is being evaluated in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NEPA process includes a written record of the analysis of potential impacts on the environment resulting from the proposed project. Impacts on both the natural and socioeconomic environment are evaluated.
Online Public Scoping Meeting
CPNRD hosted an online public scoping meeting to inform the public of the project and to gather input on the most relevant issues from October 28 through November 30, 2020.
Draft Watershed Plan-EA Public Meeting
CPNRD will host a Draft Watershed Plan-EA Public Meeting, tentatively scheduled for April 2021. Check back later for more details!
*All dates are tentative and subject to change
Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to hold a virtual public meeting regarding the Lower Wood River Watershed Improvement Project Work Plan – Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA). A public meeting was held virtually on August 18, 2020.
The Lower Wood River Watershed Improvement Project is located along the Wood River downstream of Riverdale to the confluence with the Platte River and is focusing on benefiting agricultural areas and the communities of Gibbon, Shelton, Wood River, and Alda. The purpose is flood prevention and the first step is a 24-month planning process to identify projects, such as berms, dams, channel cleanout, bridge and culvert improvements, and by-pass channels that will reduce flood damages and protect lives and infrastructure. Once the Plan-EA is approved, the CPNRD will work with NRCS and other funding agencies to move into the design and construction phases.
The Plan-EA is being prepared to fulfill National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) responsibilities pertaining to federal financial assistance received through the NRCS’s Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program. Part of this project includes an evaluation of environmental resources and impact considerations, and all information gathered during the public meeting will help guide the planning process.
The Plan-EA is scheduled to be finalized early spring 2022. The CPNRD has retained JEO Consulting Group to assist in developing the plan.