HEARTLAND FLOOD: Hanson Lakes residents eye dam release, brace for flooding

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SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) -- The homes flooded here in March were finally drying out — some rebuilds had even begun.

And now, it's flooding again in Hanson Lakes, and neighbors are trying to keep the Platte River from doing even more damage.

The sandbags are the last line of defense between the Platte River and Hanson Lakes, south of Bellevue.

The biggest fear here: “March, times two,” said James Schulze.

In mid-March, the snow-melt and heavy rains up north was so bad, high water forced everyone to evacuate.

There are 320 homes in Hanson Lakes — half of them used all year-round. Dozens were destroyed in the flooding.

“You see the river there?” said Schulze, a senior at Platteview High. “Only reason it’s not over is we’ve been digging sandbags all day.”

Now, the worry is a repeat. After all, everyone knew flash-flooding would likely happen again this spring — it was just a matter of when.

“I don’t put a lot of stock in hope,” said Chip Frazier, chairman of the Hanson Lakes SID. “Hope isn’t a plan.”

He looks out across the water and wonders why it seems not everyone is on their side.

“You look at the railroad — they are not allowed to remove all the rock to protect an endangered species,” he said. “I consider myself an endangered species. It would be really nice if the environmentalists and the Corps of Engineers would get their acts straight and stop flooding the lower Platte.”

Meanwhile, the focus in the days ahead is protecting their homes and neighborhood — and hoping any more rain stays away.

With the Missouri River expected to rise — and with more water being released at Gavin’s Point Dam — that only complicates matters here, backing up the Platte, which feeds into the Missouri River.

In March, the area was entirely underwater. That's what neighbors are trying to prevent.