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COLUMBUS – Local emergency management officials reported Friday that water levels have been slowly rising the last couple of days as temperatures warm and melt the ice and snow pack on the Loup and Platte Rivers.

"The Loup has opened up quite a bit the last couple of days as ice melts, while the ice on the Platte is quite a bit thicker,” said Tim Hofbauer, Columbus/Platte emergency management director.

The local agency has urged property owners along the rivers to be aware of quickly rising water as warmer weather sets in. Rapid melting can heighten the possibility of ice jams and flooding. Ice thickness is above normal in some areas, Hofbauer said.

Weather forecasts call for temperatures in the 60s over the weekend with the possibility of rainfall.

Increased melt accompanied by rainfall could cause river levels to rise leading to ice movement and the potential for ice jams and flooding, Hofbauer said.

The emergency management director said river flow levels at Genoa on the Loup River have remained pretty steady.

Hofbauer urged those who live along the river to stay tuned to local media outlets and NOAA Weather Radio for updates as conditions warrant.

Those living in areas that could see river or small stream flooding are urged register their location and contact info on the Columbus/Platte County AlertSense system.

Citezens can do this by visiting and selecting the AlertSense logo on the left side of the page.

Columbus\Platte County Emergency Management will continue to monitor the rivers until the threat decreases.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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