Historic flooding devastates large sections of Nebraska

DENVER – The flooding in Nebraska is breaking records in the state dating back to 1960 as rivers reach levels they haven’t seen in decades.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But, the pictures coming out of central and eastern Nebraska don’t do the devastation any justice.

“There are businesses, there are schools, there are homes, you name it, it’s gone,” Jamey Nalezinek told FOX31.

Born in Nebraska, Nalezinek has spent most of her life in Colorado. She visits often and still has very close ties to the neighboring state.

“I absolutely love Nebraska. I’m a Nebraska girl at heart,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking to me. I have all these family and friends that are in Nebraska and there is just no support. There is no help.”

A combination of rainfall from the same storm that hit Colorado last week and spring runoff from the melting snow pack has caused historic flooding.

Roads are underwater, dams have been breached and bridges have been swept away.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their communities. More than a thousand are sleeping in shelters. Some are reportedly still stuck in flood zones. And, two people have died.

“Nebraska is known as the flyover state, so a lot of times publicity doesn’t make it to that direction,” Nalezinek said.

In September 2013, Colorado experienced similar floods when rainfall washed away homes and roads in Boulder and Larimer counties. Nalezinek says she was one of the people unable to escape in Pinewood Springs. She says she had to be airlifted out by helicopter.

“There was a lot of devastation here in Lyons and Pinewood Springs and areas of that nature. However, when you look at Nebraska as a whole…You’re basically looking at over half of the state is just being washed away,” she said.

The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are both assisting with relief efforts in Nebraska.

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