Flooding to Continue Into Next Week

Aerial Tour of Nebraska Flooding 032019
A flooded road in Nebraska ( U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via MGN )

The National Weather Service says flooding is expected to continue for at least the next week as rain and melted snow makes its way south into Missouri, Kansas and Mississippi. 

North Dakota is already preparing for swollen rivers as snows begin to melt. 

In Nebraska, Vice President Mike Pence is surveying what's being called the worst flooding in a generation which has already killed four people, left one missing and caused more than a billion dollars in damages. 

The images from the ground and the air are breath-taking. Despite the road and water issues, help is arriving and supplies are now pouring into the Cornhusker state as residents begin the long process of recovery.

"It's a mess," is how flood victim Gerald Simpson describes the scene. "They were telling everybody to just grab what you can and get out."

The flooding in Nebraska is already flowing toward history.  On Thursday last week, one levee broke along the Platte River. Another broke Saturday. Rivers are cresting at record levels while hundreds of homes, farm fields and grain bins flood lost to the spring thaw.

"Naturally, to save a dollar, we didn't take out any flood insurance," says Simpson. "Now, we've lost everything."

Nebraska Farm Bureau is already estimating up to $500 million in livestock losses and nearly that much in crop losses due to delayed or canceled spring planting.

"I really don't know what we're going to do, but all you can do is just pull up your bootstraps and start over, I guess," says Simpson.

Sue Ankersen lives in Fremont, Nebraska. 

"They say it's like an island," says Ankersen. "There's no in and out."

Fremont, surrounded by water, saw residents being airlifted to safety by volunteer pilots like Steve Hill. 

"Fremont's landlocked and you know, they're running out of food and I think everyone needs to do what they can to help out," says Hill. "I had an airplane that was sitting on a hangar and it had gas in it, so I was just more than happy to help."

Ankersen couldn't be more thankful for the help. 

"God bless them, they're angels," says Ankersen.  "I want to go home, kind of get myself together and then go help people."

She isn't alone in her desire to help. Water, hay and services are pouring into the state.

"I'm from Fremont, so I wanted to help out," explains volunteer Brenden Dotson. "My parents are actually stranded here, in Omaha and just wanted to do anything we could to help out."

As evacuated residents return to their new reality the work toward recovery is just beginning. 

"I got three days worth of clothes," says flood victim Cordell Belt. "I was expecting to come back tomorrow."

The Nebraska Farm Bureau has started a relief effort to help farmers impacted by the flooding.
  
The flooding isn't just contained to Nebraska. It's also affecting Iowa and Missouri where even this week people are still being pulled to safety.

There are roughly 100 flood-related road closures in Missouri. So far, three people are confirmed dead from the flooding, two others reported missing. 

Watch for complete coverage on AgDay-TV and AgWeb.com as the story unfolds.

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