Jan 14, 2020 6:13 PM

Weather service arranges meetings to discuss flood risk

Posted Jan 14, 2020 6:13 PM

VALLEY, Neb. (AP) - The National Weather Service is scheduling meetings to share information about the potential for river flooding this winter and spring in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.

The two areas were socked with record flooding late last winter and early spring when heavy rain from a powerful storm system fell atop frozen ground covered with snow, accelerating the runoff into the Missouri River and its tributaries.

As the storm approached the state, weather service hydrologist David Pearson in the Omaha-area office warned of the potential for flooding and levee failure.

"We tried our best to get the word out, but we've heard that some people weren't getting it," Pearson told the Omaha World-Herald.

Hence the new effort: "We're trying to reach more people, be sure they get the best information and make personal connections," Pearson said.

The meetings are scheduled for Feb. 4 in Fremont, Feb. 13 in Columbus, Feb. 27 in Norfolk and March 5 in Sidney, Iowa.

Conditions point to a heightened flood risk again this spring, Pearson said. They include heavy snow cover in South and North Dakota, saturated soil and high rivers.

But, he told The Associated Press, "If you look outside we don't have 2 feet of snow on the ground."