Evacuated residents fear for the worst, grateful for support

Published: Mar. 16, 2019 at 5:27 PM CDT
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Areas along the Elkhorn River remained impassable on Saturday due to continuously rising water.

Houses along the banks of the river were underwater. The water was five feet higher than its previous record near Waterloo.

One homeowner said they thought the only spot in their house with water was the garage, but they had to evacuate on Thursday night and haven't been back inside since.

"This is just a little too much to take in right now. I look out there, and I just see nothing but a big ocean," Don Bendon said.

He had no idea how much water sat inside his Waterloo home on Saturday. Access was cut off on West Dodge Rd., meaning he had no way to see what was going on until the water recedes.

"When we left the other day, it was almost two feet in the driveway. Now, in front of our place the water has come clear across the frontage road and up on Highway 275," Bendon said.

He and his wife were able to drive out before the water got too high.

Douglas County Emergency Management said 112 adults and five children were rescued on Friday alone.

Some people who live on higher ground were surprised to see such a great amount of water right outside their window.

"Just the amount and the speed of it. Just the height just coming up here," Rex Gray, who lives in the area said.

For those who didn't have elevation on their side, it became a waiting game.

"We've been staying in Omaha with some relatives. They put us up. The church has helped us. We have a lot of friends call us and make sure we're ok," Bendon said.

Neighbors said they are grateful to be safe and dry, but know they have a long road ahead of them once the water goes away.