Big Blue

The Big Blue River in downtown Beatrice has swelled this week after melting snow and additional rain. 

Snow melt followed by two days of rain has led to the Big Blue River in Beatrice rising to near flood levels.

Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang posted to the department's Facebook page that the city does anticipate closing the West Court bridge at some point on Friday as water levels continue to rise. 

Beatrice Fire Chief Brian Daake said the water level at the West Court Bridge is roughly 2.5 feet from flood stage but more water is traveling this way and it would likely reach that level sometime Friday.

As of Thursday afternoon, Daake said water levels at the West Court bridge were around 20.7 feet and the bridge would be shut down at around 22 feet. 

Once the West Court bridge is closed, traffic will be diverted South to Locust Road so commuters will still be able to get from one side of town to the other.

City officials do not believe the South 6th Street bridge which crosses the river near Chautauqua Park will be threatened at this time. That bridge should be safe until water levels reach 26 feet. As of Thursday Daake said the Big Blue River in Beatrice is expected to crest at just over 25 feet, though he warned projections are not always correct and could change.

Belvidere road from Doyle Lane to Sumner is closed as are a few other streets near the flood water.

Lang warned that anyone driving around barricades will be ticketed.

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