OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) – At least one person has died and at least two others are missing in floodwaters that have swamped towns and farmland, washed out roads and bridges and drowned livestock in Nebraska in the wake of a late-winter storm that overwhelmed rivers and creeks with rain and snowmelt.
The family of 50-year-old James Wilke, of Columbus, Nebraska, says he was driving his tractor to rescue stranded motorists on a county road cut off by flooding Thursday when a bridge he was crossing collapsed.
His cousin, Paul Wilke, told the Columbus Telegram that James Wilke’s body was found downstream. Gass Haney Funeral Home confirmed James Wilke’s death.
Officials in other parts of Nebraska say a Norfolk man was seen on top of his flooded car late Thursday before being swept away in the water and another man is missing after being swept away by waters when a dam collapsed on the Niobrara River.
The Madison County Sheriff’s office has identified the man as 30-year-old Scott Goodman of Norfolk, Nebraska.
The Sheriff said a sudden surge of floodwater swept Goodman downstream, away from his vehicle and first responders.
Due to unsafe conditions, rescue crews were forced to abandon their search.
Goodman has still not been located.