Missouri River Flooding “Historic”

March 19, 2019


Circle of Blue:

Swelled by rainfall and melted snow, the Missouri River and its tributaries reached record levels this weekend in some of the worst flooding ever registered in parts of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Rising rivers displayed the destructive power of water: they overtopped levees and ripped apart roads. Dozens of wastewater plants failed and are discharging untreated sewage. Near Omaha, one-third of Offutt Air Force Base, the latest U.S. military installation to be damaged recently in floods, was underwater. (Tyndall Air Force Base, in Florida, suffered at least $5 billion in damage after Hurricane Michael last year.)

Elsewhere in Nebraska, the failure of the 90-year-old Spencer Dam sent an 11-foot wall of water down the Niobrara River, the Lincoln Journal Star reports. The deluge compromised wells in the town of Niobrara, where residents were receiving bottled water.


The Missouri River at Plattsmouth, Nebraska crested at 40.6 feet on Saturday, nearly 4 feet higher than the previous record. It was one of at least 17 locations through the weekend that set a new high-water mark.

Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska, is under mandatory water restrictions following a power outage at its water production facility. Mayor Chris Beutler issued the order on Sunday afternoon after a levee upstream of the city’s well field was breached. Flooding cut electricity to the wells and temporarily stopped water production.

Water production is up to 32 million gallons a day as of Monday afternoon, but residents have been asked to cut indoor water use in half and not use any water outdoors.

“That production is enough to meet the community’s basic needs for drinking water, health, and sanitation,” Beutler said at a news conference. “However, it is not enough to meet the rest of the community’s other daily water usage. That’s why it’s imperative that residents understand where we are on water conservation and adjust their strategies accordingly.”

Flood waters have not contaminated Lincoln’s water supply, Beutler said. But there are risks elsewhere.

Winter Weather Flooding

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) is warning homeowners that private wells can be contaminated by bacteria and chemicals carried by flood waters.

Those contamination risks are real. The Federal Emergency Management Agency reports that at least 42 wastewater plants in Nebraska are not functioning and are discharging raw sewage.

NDHHS is offering free sampling kits, but homeowners have to pay for the testing.

After Hurricane Florence inundated the southern Atlantic coast last September, North Carolina saw an increase in private wells that tested positive for E. coli and fecal coliform.

The worst of the flooding has passed downstream but the waters will recede slowly. The National Weather Service expects that the Missouri River in southern Nebraska, northeastern Kansas, and northwestern Missouri will remain in major flood stage through Thursday.


Even the U.S. Air Force couldn’t stop the Mighty Missouri River from flooding Offutt Air Force Base.

Between Saturday night and early Sunday, the 55th Wing called off a 30-hour, round-the-clock sandbagging effort because the floodwaters were rising too fast.

“It was a lost cause. We gave up,” said Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake, a 55th Wing spokeswoman.

By Sunday morning, one-third of the base was underwater, she said. Thirty buildings, including the 55th Wing headquarters and the two major aircraft maintenance facilities, had been flooded with up to 8 feet of water, and 30 more structures damaged. About 3,000 feet of the base’s 11,700-foot runway was submerged. No one, though, had been injured.

11 Responses to “Missouri River Flooding “Historic””

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    Do we read the terms “global warming” or “climate change” in these articles? Of course not. No wonder our kids are protesting on the streets. They’re pissed of by that ignorance.

    • A Thorpe Says:

      You don’t read the words here on in the New York Times report on the flooding because it is not due to climate change. It is due to weather events.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Our resident moron is commenting on more than one Crock thread? Didn’t think he was capable of juggling more than one ball at a time.

        I know that he has said there is no such thing in physics as an “average”, but for those of who are not morons and know that “average” DOES have scientific and mathematical meaning, we DO realize these truths:

        1) Climate is defined as average weather.
        2) If observations show that there have been changes in weather, and if the statistics of changes in weather over time show a definite trend, that trend is called climate change.
        3) So, if “weather events” like more powerful and frequent storms, heat waves, drought, downpours, flooding, and wildfires are ON AVERAGE, increasing in strength and frequency, AND all the scientists are saying it’s likely due to climate change, it is simply the ramblings of a stupid and delusional troll to maintain otherwise.

        GO AWAY, Throwup! You bring dishonor to the name of our specie—-Homo Sapiens (I’ll tell you it’s “wise man”, since you probably don’t know the meaning).

        Or are you trying to establish that you are the first of a new human species? To be named Homo Moronus? Or Homo Stupidus? Either is fitting.

  2. Terry Donte Says:

    USGS 06805600 Missouri River at Plattsmouth, NE stream gage data only goes back to Nov. 2018 so I do not know where they get the record from. Is the rest of the data just as sparse?

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Are you talking about the 120 days of on-demand data made available online? You can still get access to historical records going back to (for some sites) 1950. Here is the recent and historic summary for that site:


      From https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/?IV_data_availability

      The available parameters from the Current Conditions and Historical Observations pages on the National Water Information System Web Interface have two categories of instantaneous data availability. For some parameters, historical data are available as far back as October 1, 1950, whereas for others only the most recent 120 days of provisional data are available. The period of availability depends on the intended use of the data and can vary from site to site and/or between parameters at a site as described below.

    • redskylite Says:

      The USGS is collecting critical streamflow data that are vital for protection of life, property and the environment. These data are used by the National Weather Service to develop flood forecasts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage flood control and local agencies in their flood response activities.

      There are 265 USGS-operated streamgages in Missouri that measure water levels, streamflow and rainfall. When flooding occurs, USGS crews make numerous streamflow measurements to verify the data the USGS provides to federal, state and local agencies, as well as to the public.

      For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the United States. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk and for many recreational activities.

      Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS WaterWatch website. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert.


    • dumboldguy Says:

      Terry is looking at stream gauge DATA to analyze? JFC! Why not use eyeballs and common sense to look at the videos and pics that are coming out of the area and listen to the folks who know when they say it’s RECORD flooding. I personally found the visual evidence to be both shocking and moving, and KNOW that the Air Force did NOT intentionally build a major base in a place where 1/3 of it could be flooded.

      Use your gut, Terry, and I hope it doesn’t begin and end at your anal orifice as Trump’s does.

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