AYR, Neb. (KSNB) - People living in rural Adams County can sleep easy tonight as floodwaters are no longer a threat to their homes.
Floodwaters from the Little Blue River in Ayr receded Thursday after it overflowed right up to nearby homes Wednesday. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)
The Little Blue River was overflowing on Wednesday. The water went right up to some nearby homes on Riverside Road in Ayr. It was waist high. Fast forward just 24 hours, and all that water is gone.
"Just happy, relieved, like oh my goodness it could've been way worse," said Carrie Whitcomb, a resident. "We're glad that there's not a lot of damage and we're all safe."
Whitcomb lives on the south side of the Little Blue River. Her property was completely flooded Wednesday. Whitcomb and her husband evacuated.
She said the water was down about a foot Wednesday evening. They returned home Thursday morning, and said the water had receded around 8 a.m.
"Just being here and being able to see with our own eyes instead of being in town and wondering what's happening. So a lot better. It's a great place to be and hopefully this doesn't happen as often as it has in the past year," Whitcomb said.
She said her property's been flooded three times this year, but this round was the worst. The Whitcomb's didn't get any water in their home or nearby cabin. They do need to get their well tested to make sure it's not contaminated.
Most of the homes along Riverside Road didn't get any water or have damages. Some of that can be attributed to the 2,000 sandbags volunteers with the Hastings, Holstein and Roseland Rural Fire Departments put out Wednesday.
Ron Pughes, the emergency manager in Adams County, said it's not unusual for a river to recede as quickly as this one did. He said the river is still running about a third faster than usual.
Pughes said this flooding event is the worst he's seen in the county.
"We saw more intrusions to homes and damage than the first storm. As far as roads go, we're probably right back in the same situation we were back in March with roads and bases being saturated and washed out," Pughes said.
The Adams County Emergency Office declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon. They're waiting to hear back from NEMA on how much, if any, federal aid they might receive. The county is still dealing with issues from the flood back in March.
Pughes urges drivers to be extra cautious while driving on the county roads, and to never go around barricades.