Flood waters have begun to flow into western Nebraska through the South Platte River thanks to recent extreme flooding conditions in Colorado.
Officials say the river has reached record levels at Julesburg, Colo., near the Colorado-Nebraska border. The river rose to 10.46 feet Wednesday morning.
Some flooding has already been reported near Big Springs and more flooding is expected along the South Platte River, which runs parallel to Interstates 76 and 80 in western Nebraska.
Most of the land expected to be impacted by the these initial waters is rural with few homes, however officials say the Union Pacific railroad could be affected. The railroad has already raised seven miles of track near Ogallala by 4 inches and piled rock along the tracks between Julesburg, Colo. and Big Springs, Neb.
As the waters head down the river, emergency managers in Maxwell, North Platte, Brady and other areas are bracing for possible flooding.
Officials aren't sure exactly what to expect by these flood waters due to the fact that many of the river's gauges in Colorado were broken by the flooding. They hope to have a clearer picture when levels can be measured in Nebraska.
However, the National Weather Service is predicting the river will rise quickly. For instance, the river measured 1.6 feet deep near Roscoe Wednesday morning. By Thursday afternoon, it's expected to reach 12.5 feet deep — shattering the old record of 11.3 feet.
At North Platte, the river is expected to rise from the current 5.3 feet to 13.9 feet on Saturday.
A team of six Nebraska Emergency Management Agency staff are in Ogallala to aid local officials with flooding issues.
NEMA has provided a webpage to provide more information on preparing and dealing with the aftermath of flooding.