A flood warning is in effect in the Lewellen area along the North Platte River, where the river is expected to remain above minor flood stage of 7.5 feet into the weekend.
The National Weather Service at North Platte issued the warning at 8:46 a.m. MDT Tuesday.
The NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service showed the level at Lewellen at 7.59 feet at 9:45 a.m. MDT Tuesday and projected that it will remain at 7.6 to 7.5 feet into the weekend. A projection beyond Sunday is not shown.
The following statements were included in the warning:
“Do not drive your vehicle into areas where water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely and the road beneath may not be intact. Vehicles caught in rising waters should be abandoned quickly.
“Do not let children play near the river during high water.”
The high water flows are due to rain and snowmelt said Civil Engineer Tyler Thulin of Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District. He gave that report to the CNPPID board on Monday. Excess water is also expected to be released beginning this week from Glendo Reservoir in Wyoming into the North Platte River, he said.
However, Thulin said Lake McConaughy is not expected to reach its maximum elevation of 3,265 feet above sea level over the next few weeks. It is currently 7 feet below that and is at 88.2% capacity, according to the CNPPID online data page. Inflows to the lake are currently 3,308 cubic feet per second compared with 1,713 cfs a week ago, 1,250 a month ago and 1,097 a year ago.
Releases from the lake were at 1.602 cfs Tuesday morning, compared with 1,612 cfs a week ago, 1,621 a month ago and 977 a year ago. Almost all of the outflow is being directed into the Keystone Diversion, which feeds irrigation canals and reservoirs downstream. Only 29 cfs is being released into the river.
The North Platte River at the city of North Platte was at 4.7 feet Tuesday morning. Minor flood stage is 6.0 feet. River flow there was 389 cfs, compared with 1,064 cfs a week ago, 348 cfs a month ago and 371 cfs a year ago. Nearly all of the current flow at North Platte is from feeder streams, groundwater inflows and runoff.
For flow information, go tocnppid.com and click on “Reservoir/River Data.”