State Response to Severe Weather Continues

RELEASE DATE: Mar 14, 2019

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Lincoln, Neb. – Following a declaration of emergency Tuesday evening, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has opened the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in response to rapidly evolving weather-related hazardous conditions impacting the majority of the state.

NEMA officials and partner agencies are monitoring conditions, fielding calls from citizens and community partners and providing information and resources to keep citizens safe. NEMA staff and partners began working 24-hours-a-day in the SEOC at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The SEOC will remain open as needed. NEMA is tracking conditions across the state, responding to requests for assistance from local emergency managers and developing a common operating picture to keep local officials aware of the situation.

The SEOC is staffed by officials from NEMA, the Nebraska State Patrol, Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska Fire Marshal, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, the Nebraska Military Department, and other agencies.

Safety and Security: Evacuations are taking place throughout the state at this time. Travel is extremely dangerous with conditions changing rapidly. Non-essential travel is not advised.

Food, Water, Sheltering: There are currently 103 people in Red Cross and partner shelters. Shelters are open in the following places:

  • Green Hills Area Education Agency, 919 N. Chestnut Street, Avoca, Iowa
  • Salem United Methodist Church, 14955 Somerset Avenue, Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • First Lutheran Church, 3200 Military Avenue, Freemont, Nebraska
  • Community Center, 112 S, B Street, North Loup, Nebraska
  • Randolph City Auditorium, 110 N. Main Street, Randolph, Nebraska
  • United Methodist Church, 512 S. Scott Street, St. Francis, Kansas

Additional shelters are opening throughout the state.

Several towns are experiencing disruptions in water service. Updates will be included on the NEMA tweets social media.

Energy (Power & Fuel): As of 7:45 a.m. approximately 500 customers in Norfolk are without power. Limited outages across the state. With the high winds forecasted, there is potential for these numbers to increase.

Transportation: Road conditions continue to deteriorate across the state. Information on road closures can be found on the Nebraska 511 map at Nebraska 511 provides the most up-to-date travel conditions. Nebraska 511 can be accessed through the 511 smartphone app or by dialing 511.

The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Highway Helpline is available 24 hours per day for motorists in need of assistance. Drivers can reach NSP by dialing *55 from any cell phone or 911 in an emergency.

Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have been working with local officials and Nebraska Game and Parks officers on water rescues overnight and into the morning. NSP has deployed two light armored vehicles (LAV) to assist with water rescue in north central and northeast Nebraska. The LAVs are able to reach places that a normal rescue vehicle cannot.

Troopers are also being repositioned from less affected areas to the more affected areas to assist with flood response. Additional troopers have also been called in from required days off to assist in these emergency situations.

Troopers in the western part of the state responded to several stranded vehicles last night, mostly on local roads. All state roads and I-80 remain closed in the Nebraska panhandle.