CHICAGO, March 14, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – A late winter storm on Wednesday
caused widespread flooding and snarled travel in the Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado
and Wyoming, forcing evacuations in some areas.
Blizzard conditions and flooding closed numerous roadways in the region.
Nearly 1,400 flights were canceled at Denver airport, where all runways were
Colorado declared a state of emergency and National Guard troops were
National Guard troops in Nebraska were put on alert for possible
activation, as emergency officials braced for the storm to intensify
“This has the potential to be a very severe weather event,” Nebraska
Governor Pete Ricketts said.
“We’re already seeing flooding in a number of communities and evacuations
in several communities.”
Colorado was walloped by heavy snow and high winds gusting to as much as
90 miles per hour — leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power,
according to the Denver Post.
Schools, businesses and government facilities were closed in Wyoming,
according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, which itself was forced to shut down
because of the weather.
Officials in Nebraska said they expected flooding there to worsen —
potentially to record levels.
“It is an unprecedented event today,” said Kyle Schneweis, Nebraska’s
director of transportation.
“Just today we’re facing blizzards, white-out conditions, flooding, dense
fog, and each of those pose a unique risk,” he said.
An area north of Omaha was evacuated as floodwaters topped a levee,
according to television station KETV.
The National Weather Service also predicted river flooding from rain and
snowmelt in parts of Iowa, which could last into the weekend.