The North Bend Eagle


No ice
Geese take flight Monday [Feb. 10, 2020] in a mostly ice-free Platte River near the Highway 79 bridge. The river is above its normal height, but other factors leading to flooding are not there. The National Weather Service will not say definitely ‘no,’ but they are optimistic that there will not be a flood this spring in North Bend.

Flood factors not present like 2019

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 2/12/20

They had 300 chairs set up, yet they kept bringing out more. Everyone wanted to know the answer to the question growing daily: Will we flood in 2020?

National Weather Service Senior Service Hydrologist David Pearson spoke to the crowd filling Fremont’s Christensen Field Feb. 4. They all wanted to know. But like a typical weatherman, Pearson could not give a definite answer, but he did make some educated guesses.

The evening began with an overview of events that lead up to the flooding in 2019.

“It was liquid and snowmelt,” Pearson said.

The deep snow, frozen ground, heavy rain and thick river ice all teamed up in 2019 to give us historic flooding.

Pearson pointed out that at this time a year ago on Feb. 4, there was no snow in Nebraska. One month later, there was a dramatic change.

“Therefore, we don’t know yet this year,” Pearson said.

Pearson talked about the contributing factors and how they stack up this year as contribution to a flood, as of Feb. 4:
• Snowpack: below risk*
• Soil moisture: above to normal risk
• Frozen ground: below risk*
• Amount of water in river: above to normal risk
• Precipitation outlook: normal risk*
• Ice jams (Platte and Elkhorn rivers): below risk.

The factors with the asterisk remain variable, so things could still change.

Pearson did say that he has looked at the snowpack in Wyoming that feeds the Platte River and it is normal. He also noted that the Platte River at North Bend is higher than normal, but the river is flowing.

There is an ice jam currently near Scribner that is currently causing flooding.

“I am mildly optimistic about this year,” Pearson said.

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