Several miles of stores, businesses, warehouses and homes in Kearney flooded after a monsoon-like downpour early Tuesday.
The Turkey Creek that feeds from the Kearney canal overflowed its banks through the city, causing major damage on the north side of I-80.
There was an unconfirmed report of nine inches of rain in the Kearney area, with equivalent amounts to the west. As the morning progressed, water pooled up in Kearney along I-80.
Some business reported water two-feet deep, or more, inside their buildings. Cars were nearly submerged in some parking lots. Hotels were evacuated before noon, with some residents carrying their belongings out on foot, and some riding in the buckets of payloaders, NTV reported. The water came up so fast people couldn’t get out in their cars.
The Kearney I-80 interchange was closed Tuesday. Shelters were set up at the University of Nebraska campus.
The flooding could get worse for a few days as water arrives from upstream. Up to 8 inches of rain fell as far west as Cozad, about 50 miles away.
Travelers are advised to stay away from the south side of Kearney.
(This report was clarified Wednesday morning to say that Turkey Creek overflowed, not the NPPD canal.)