The Army Corps of Engineers had little choice but to release water upstream from us to avoid dam breaches. But that’s caused flooding along the Missouri River in our area.
In Washington County, some neighborhoods, crops and roadways are under water. As the river continues to rise, some residential areas like Lemley's Cabins and Trailers, near Fort Calhoun, are under a growing threat.
Butch Pofahl left Saturday, when water began to move in. "There's probably about two and half feet of water right through there. Unless you've a four wheel drive, you've got no reason being out there," he said.
Not far away, Boyer Chute Wildlife Refuge is closed due to the water. But near its entrance, off CR 34, flooding has provided another view of nature. A rare sighting, a large group of Egrets, was feeding on creatures like fish, frogs and snake, floating up from fields.
On one side of CR 34, a water drain carries water underneath the pavement, to a whirlpool on the other side. There, a bunch of carp and minnows hover along the water’s edge.
Deputy Fred Carritt of the Washington County Sheriff's Department was posted along that county road Wednesday to keep watch.
"Just in the area to be available in case we do have to call in any kind of emergency service or anything for the people that are still here," he said. He was also watching county roads for water levels and will call on roads workers to place barricades if needed.
Just around the bend, at the flooded Desoto Park Estates, neighbors, their friends and family are trying to help one another out. “We put things on blocks, hauling out groceries, turning off electricity, trying to save the place,” said Sherry Brooks of Fort Calhoun. Her son lives at Lemley’s and his fiancé lives at Desoto Park Estates.
Chris Coleman rigged a motorized canoe to navigate his neighborhood. "It's actually kind of fun. Been around the lake back here just floating around the fields just seeing how things were," he said. With electricity still working, he had no plans to leave.
But Coleman and other area residents know the worst could be yet to come. The Missouri River is not expected to crest until Thursday afternoon.
The Missouri’s flood problems have impacted Douglas County as well. Wednesday, the city of Omaha announced N.P. Dodge Park, including soccer and football fields, will be closed through the holiday weekend.