LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — State officials urged residents on Friday to stay clear of the contaminated flood water pouring into western Nebraska from Colorado, while offering assurances that the flood posed no immediate threat to cities, railroad lines or Interstate 80.
Nebraska emergency management officials said they were keeping close watch on the South Platte River, which continued to rise on Friday in the southwest and central parts of the state. The flood so far has caused little damage as the surge moves east.
"We don't get the floods on the Platte as often as some other places, so this is something we just need to continue to watch," said Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann, the state's Homeland Security director. "We try to anticipate as much as we possibly can, and just go from there."
The warning to residents came after Nebraska Game and Parks officials rescued a man from the South Platte River earlier this week. Authorities say two brothers from Colorado launched a canoe into the swollen river on Wednesday. The canoe capsized about a mile east of the Nebraska-Colorado state line.
Authorities say Joseph Schneiderwind, 48, of Conifer, Colo., remained on a sandbar while his 54-year-old brother, Mike Schneiderwind, swam to shore. Mike Schneiderwind, of Castle Rock, Colo., walked to U.S. Highway 138 and flagged a motorist for help.
Authorities said Joseph Schneiderwind was chest-deep in water and clinging to a tree when they arrived. He was taken to a hospital to be treated for possible hypothermia.
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