Dozens stranded at flooded Odessa gas station

ODESSA, Neb. (KSNB) - Kearney isn't the only town in Buffalo County affected by Monday night's storm. A gas station right off I-80 in Odessa flooded with several feet of water, leaving dozens of people stranded.

The Sapp Brothers gas station in Odessa got about four feet of water after Monday night's storm. Dozens of travelers were stranded. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

The Sapp Brothers gas station has been flooded since Tuesday morning. The water reached as high as the tires on a semi truck.

"No I've never seen flooding like this," said Josh Raymond, a stranded traveler.

Raymond was one of 20 people stranded at the gas station Tuesday. He was driving back to New York from Colorado, where he was visiting his brother.

He was stuck there for more than 14 hours.

"I blew a tire in the middle of the thunderstorm so I had to stop here. Then it rained like nine inches. It's a little curve ball nature threw at me," Raymond said.

Another young traveler was stuck at the gas station about as long as Raymond. Gage Kephart and his mom were heading back to their home in Iowa after seeing the mountains in Colorado.

"We decided to take a little rest, and then next we know there's water coming up and we were flooded in," Kephart said.

He passed the time by riding his scooter around the gas station. During all that time waiting for the water to recede, Raymond and Kephart befriended one another.

"Just trying to make the best of it while we're stranded," Kephart said.

Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol estimated the water was about three feet high by Tuesday afternoon. It receded about a foot since they arrived early that morning.

Water was flowing onto the nearby street. Troopers blocked off the road by the gas station to keep everyone safe.

One trooper said he's never seen anything like that in the area.

"We still keep getting surprised. Let's put it that way," said Trooper Lawney Knuth, Nebraska State Patrol. "In one area we have flooding, and the next thing we know another area it unfortunately happens at."

A few people at the gas station chose to leave with a motorist assist. The rest wanted to wait with their cars until they could get out themselves.

Troopers ask drivers to be cautious of flooded roads, and to not go around barricades they put out.