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More storms ahead for sopping wet eastern Nebraska

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 29, 2014 at 11:21 am •  Published: August 29, 2014
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Rain is falling and more is forecast for sopping wet eastern Nebraska, forecasters said Friday.

Nearly 9 inches has fallen in some areas over the past three days, temporarily cutting off roads in many towns and rural communities.

A National Weather Service advisory said a storm that dropped more than an inch on Polk and northern York counties Friday morning was drifting east, and that minor flooding was expected in the two counties. A gauge at the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District office in York said nearly 9 inches of rain had fallen there by Thursday morning, with more expected from Friday's line of storms.

The Saunders County Sheriff's Office said roads and highways in and out of Wahoo were no longer closed by flooding but that water was still standing at the Nebraska Highway 66 junction with the spur into Wahoo.

The heavy rain and runoff forced the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District to close Elkhorn River access sites in Douglas County.

"We are hoping for a reopening on Tuesday ... if the river returns to near-normal conditions," said district general manager John Winkler.

Scattered thunderstorms are expected Friday and Sunday in Omaha, where nearly 2 inches of rain had fallen by Thursday evening.

Rain earlier in the week had held down attendance at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island, and recent rain turned some fairgrounds parking lots into puddles of mud and standing water. Fair executive director Joseph McDermott said workers had been dumping rocks into the lots to ease the mud problems, and pumper trucks had been vacuuming up standing water.

"The parking lots are in pretty decent shape," McDermott said. "We do expect conditions to improve tomorrow and Sunday, which are the biggest days of the fair."

Grand Island police on Thursday recommended that fairgoers park at satellite lots and take shuttles to the Fonner Park fairgrounds.