KEARNEY — The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) and the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) are reminding motorists to avoid driving through flood waters.
As water from recent heavy rains continues to move through Nebraska, several communities are experiencing flooding and water-covered roadways. First responders have assisted in evacuations for hundreds of people in several communities in south-central Nebraska. Many local roads and state highways have been affected by flooding as well.
“Driving through flood waters can be extremely dangerous,” said Col. John Bolduc, superintendent of NSP. “It doesn’t take much water to disable a vehicle or even wash it off the road entirely. If you come across flood waters covering a road, turn around and don’t drown.”
NDOT has placed barricades in numerous areas to prevent motorists from driving through flooded areas. NDOT crews have also been working hard all week to clear and reopen roads affected by flooding. Local public works crews have also been working on local roads in several communities.
“Barricades are placed on roadways for an important reason,” said NDOT Director Kyle Schneweis. “As we’ve seen already this year, water can do tremendous damage to roads. It’s possible that flood-covered roads are damaged or even portions of the road itself have been washed away. Motorists should never drive around barricades.”
Multiple deaths in 2019 have been attributed to flood waters washing a vehicle off the road. First responders have also rescued several people whose vehicle became stranded in flood waters.
As flood waters continue to move through the area, additional road closures are likely. All motorists are urged to help avoid tragedy by following the simple rule of thumb for flooded roads: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.