Flooding has truly affected us all in one way or another. Flooding has impacted my own family.
Below is video from Friday, March 15, 2019 of flood waters going over the access road from Nebraska Highway 30 to Timberwood Lake just west of the Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area where my daughter and son-in-law reside. Video courtesy of Wayne Preister of Ames, NE.
My heartfelt thoughts go out to those who must deal with the aftermath of this historic flood directly. Very special thanks to the many first responders and others who put their lives at risk to help folks during the flood with notifications, rescues and provisions.
Also, great appreciation should be noted to the high number of organizations, businesses, agencies, churches and individuals providing relief and recovery efforts to the flood victims. Hopefully, you can assist in some fashion!
Please know that the State of Nebraska is working with public/private partnerships, volunteer organizations, faith-based groups and non-government entities to identify unmet needs with available resources during this flooding disaster. For details, click here.
Here is a news release that we at Game and Parks issued yesterday morning, March 20, 2019, regarding the impact of flooding at state parks and wildlife management areas:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Game and Parks continues to assess damage to state park system following historic flooding
Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission continues to assess damage from recent flooding at parks and wildlife management areas throughout the state.
Some state parks, state historical parks, state recreation areas and wildlife management areas located along rivers and streams in eastern and central Nebraska experienced flooded roads, campgrounds and buildings during the historic and catastrophic flooding of the past week.
Game and Parks staff have been working diligently to assess the extent of the damage, but with many areas still underwater or inaccessible because of flooded or damaged roadways, the full impact of the flood on Nebraska’s state park system and wildlife management areas is not yet known.
A list of parks that are closed, partially closed or accessible only by alternate route is available on the Commission’s website at OutdoorNebraska.org/weatherclosures. Visitors to the page will also find a list of park areas unaffected by flooding. Though some parks are temporarily closed, more than 50 park and recreation areas remain open for outdoor recreation.
Additionally, the Cowboy Trail from Norfolk to Valentine will remain closed until the trail and its bridges can be inspected for safety and necessary repairs made. The public is advised to stay off the trail until it has reopened.
A timeline is not yet in place for reopening areas affected by the flooding. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission asks that those with upcoming camping reservations be mindful that parks staff will not be able to make determinations about when those parks will reopen or answer questions about whether reservations might be impacted until after water levels recede. Individuals with advance reservations at areas impacted will be notified if the status of their reservation is affected as soon as parks staff are able to complete assessments of the parks and services.
Access to some wildlife management areas may be difficult because county roads and bridges have been washed out in some areas. For information on specific wildlife management areas, please contact your local Game and Parks district office. Contact information is available online at OutdoorNebraska.org/locations.
Questions about specific park closures should be directed to Game and Parks headquarters at 402-471-0641. As waters recede and reopening dates are set for specific parks, announcements will be posted at OutdoorNebraska.org
The Game and Parks Commission will accept volunteer help in the recovery of its affected parks and other areas. Individuals or groups who want to volunteer to help the Commission’s cleanup efforts can notify Game and Parks at outdoornebraska.gov/volunteer. Game and Parks staff will alert those who wish to volunteer of opportunities to do so as priority areas are identified.
A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media channels, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!