OVERTON — For many rain is becoming a four letter word. Over Memorial Day weekend, over a 72 hour period, portions of Dawson County saw up to four to six inches of rain, with the least amount being at least two inches.
As of Thursday afternoon, the east half of Dawson County lay under a Flooding Advisory issued by the National Weather Service Hastings. Runoff from the recent rain caused minor flooding in creeks and low lying areas. The ground has been saturated from recent rainfall and caused the water table to rise as the recent rain had nowhere to drain.
A Flood Warning was issued for areas around Buffalo Creek after it rose up past its banks. This caused flooding around Overton and Elm Creek.
Several homes in Dawson County had water in their basements after the recent rains; one resident said it was, "the straw which broke the camels back."
One area affected badly was the Jay Bros truck stop near the Overton I-80 interchange. Water from the surrounding fields flooded into the truck stop leaving over a foot of standing water. Water was also running across Road 444, making travel difficult. Semis which got off at Overton were either forced to deal with the water or turnaround.
Dawson County Emergency Manager Brian Woldt said at least six county roads were closed due to water running across them, almost all of them to the east of Lexington. County roads near Cozad also saw water run over them as well.
Woldt said it will take several days of dry weather before Buffalo Creek and the flood waters recede.
Roads Superintendent Mark Christiansen said barricades have been put up in several areas to warn people about the water on the road. He said Overton saw the worst of the flooding, after the water came down out of the hills and had no other place to go.
Christiansen said he did not expect heavy damage to the county roads which had water run over them, he said after the water recedes the roads should be okay.
The rain has also hampered farmers in their efforts to get their crops planted. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, 81 percent of corn and 54 percent of Nebraska’s soybean crops have been planted, but the recent rains may push even more farmers further behind schedule. Many fields throughout the area which would have been planted by this point remain untouched.
According to the NWS, high pressure will build into the area over the weekend. While it cannot be guaranteed to be a dry forecast, the pattern will be much less active than previous weeks.
"While it`s almost impossible to ‘guarantee’ dry weather on most days and nights, rain and thunderstorm chances look to be considerably more ‘spotty’ and less widespread than lately," said meteorologist Ryan Pfannkuch, "Not surprisingly, most official rain chances in our forecast are no higher than 20-30 percent."
Temperatures are expected to breach 80 degrees for the first time in two weeks, Pfannkuch said.