Flood warnings are in effect for the Tittabawassee River in Midland from 3:12 p.m. Friday, March 15, through 2:40 a.m. Monday, March 18, and for the Saginaw River in Saginaw from 8 a.m. Saturday, March 16, through 2 p.m. Monday. Some waterways also have intact ice sheets, which may break up and shift during this event, increasing the risk of ice-jam flooding. The record level at the Rulo-Brownville area is 44.8 feet. The plant plans to use an Alert and shut down the reactor if and when the river reaches 902 feet. "So, that will help with the water levels". Electricity then would be delivered from other sources.
The emergency is for areas around Valley, west of Omaha, between the Platte and Elkhorn rivers after a levee failed on the Union Dike, the National Weather Service said. The plant operated throughout the last major threat, during historic flooding in summer 2011.
High-resolution visible imagery from NASA's Terra satellite showing eastern Nebraska and western Iowa on February 4, when clear skies and little snow cover offered a view of rivers at normal levels, then on March 15, 2019, revealing flooded rivers, some of which are highlighted by green arrows. Flooding, hail and strong winds also were reported in parts of the two states. "There's been a little bit more of that this year, in terms of spring flood potential", Clarksville Mayor Jo Anne Smiley said. The flooding was the worst in almost a decade in places.
The flooding has been caused by a combination of factors.
The intense bomb cyclone that brought blizzard conditions to the region was moving into Canada on Friday.
Ice fishing has now been closed at all GRCA conservation areas.
Given the abundant precipitation through winter, and an active spring storm track through the nation's mid-section, the events of this week likely mark just the beginning of a long flood season.