Telegraph staff and wire reports
Most of the western half of Cherry County was in a flood warning along with five other north central Nebraska counties after storms Wednesday night.
Officials recommended no travel across Brown and Rock counties because of flooding, according to the National Weather Service website.
Water was reported over the roadway 11 miles south of Ainsworth on Nebraska Highway 7 and over U.S. Highway 83 10 miles south of Bassett.
In west central Nebraska Wednesday night, Imperial reported 70 mph winds and hail as big as 1.75 inches, breaking car windows, according to the National Weather Service. Downed trees and power lines were reported in Hayes County.
North Platte had 72 mph wind gusts near the North Platte airport, but only 0.23 inches of rainfall, said Jaclyn Gomez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in North Platte.
Back-to-back storms on Tuesday and Wednesday dumped 4 to 8 inches of rain on parts of north central Nebraska. Flood warnings were in effect for Cherry, Rock, Brown, Holt, Keya Paha and Boyd counties.
In Brown County, firefighters conducted at least one water rescue north of Ainsworth early Thursday after a pickup fell into flooded Bone Creek, according to radio station KBRB.
The 35-year-old driver slipped and fell trying to get out of the truck and was swept 200 to 300 yards downstream by a fast-moving current before she was able to grab onto a tree, KBRB said.
Firefighters and rescuers were able to locate her by the light on her cellphone.
The woman spent about 20 minutes in the water.
In Ainsworth, pockets of storms that blew through the area in the afternoons and evenings both Tuesday and Wednesday brought more than 8 inches of rain over the two days, Gomez said.
In O’Neill, multiple streets also were under water Wednesday night because of flash flooding, Gomez said.
O’Neill received 1.44 inches of precipitation within one hour Wednesday night, Gomez said.
Douglas Fox, director of Region 24 Emergency Management, which covers Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Keya Paha and Rock Counties, said the flood damage may be worse than what occurred in mid-March, when a monster storm caused catastrophic flooding across parts of Nebraska and Iowa.
It’s been a steady onslaught of rain and flooding since the spring, Fox said.
“It just keeps raining. Since March, it’s just one thing after the other,” he said. “We fix roads and they get washed out again. We put culverts in and they get washed out again.”