Flood gawkers frustrate first responders, officials say

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Lots of people were out on Friday trying to see the flooding around the Elkhorn and Platte rivers firsthand.

Officials said that onlookers stopping to take pictures and videos were just creating more of a problem.

Authorities urged people to stop pulling over and to listen to emergency responders when they say to go home.

"We also need the folks that are trying to be the onlookers of wanting to come and look at this massive amount of water that is flooding our area, we need you to stop doing that, we need our emergency responders to stay focused on what they are doing and people who are coming looking on are getting in the way," Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgensen said in a Friday press conference.

Onlookers can potentially get in the way of emergency responders trying to help those affected by the floods and cause traffic that doesn't allow the affected to evacuate.

Getting too close to the rapidly rising water can also create unnecessary rescues and stretch emergency resources thin.