Waters from melting snow and recent rain have caused flooding in the Seward area, especially along creeks and rivers. Photo by Laura VonKampen.
By Morgan Consier and April Bayer
Flood waters have been rising due to above-freezing temperatures over the last couple days, and the city has taken action to ensure the safety of its residents, including Concordia students.
Highway 34 east of town heading toward Lincoln is currently open, but west of town the highway has been closed from 14th Street in Seward to the Goehner spur.
The National Weather Service has predicted a crest height of 20.7 feet for the Big Blue River.
Some students have expressed concern over the possible long-term effects of the flooding.
“I’m worried about some of the long-term issues that might happen (from the flooding),” senior Ethan Symmank said. “If it lasts too long, it’s going to be a pretty big problem, but for the time being, I’m not super concerned. (I am concerned for) people who have whatever kinds of jobs they need to get to out of town, visiting family, (and) people who are here trying to get out.”
The city has been preparing for a potential further rise in water levels by sandbagging the Highway 34 bridge near Pac-N-Save. They have also informed residents in the City of Seward Levee Protection Area of the potential issues from the rising water, but no evacuation is needed at this time.
In an email to students earlier today, Gene Brooks, vice president for student affairs and athletics, warned students not to travel due to current road and weather conditions, including strong winds and more precipitation.
“It does concern me, the fact that we got that email that says ‘don’t travel anywhere because of flooding,'” junior Rachel Krome said. “My voice teacher today said when she was traveling in that she saw some people with their houses that were (very close) to the water, and that’s sketchy.”
Road closures and other safety warnings can be found on the 511.nebraska.gov website.
“As long as God’s really nice to us and doesn’t have any more rain, I think we’ll make it,” Krome said. “The wind we’ve been getting could really help just dry up all the water.”
Photo gallery of Seward area as of Thursday, March 14, early evening.
Last updated Thursday, March 14 at 5:57 p.m.