Flooding tears through Nebraska destroying homes and roads


Kori Siebert

WSC classes were cancelled last Thursday due to flooding in Wayne and surrounding areas.

Alexander Retzlaff, Staff Writer

Rain poured onto Wayne’s streets. Community members and Wayne State students stayed indoors expecting the worst. And yet, Wayne, Nebraska stood firm during a flash flood warning on Mar. 13.

Despite heavy rainfall during the late afternoon and evening, community members and students in Wayne noticed only minor damages following a flash flood warning. Several community residents, however, are left sifting through the damage the waters caused. In regards to WSC, classes on Mar. 14 were cancelled and only the Willow Bowl overflowed with rainwater.

This did little to stop students from taking advantage of the flood, like swimming in flood waters or even paddling a canoe through the Willow Bowl. Campus Security Manager Jason Mrsny called the students’ swimming in the Willow Bowl a first in his career.

“In regards to public safety and security, you want to ere on the side of safety,” Mrsny said. “We always caution about people wading into water. If we saw somebody in [the Willow Bowl], we asked them to get out of the water.”

Joel Hansen and his team at Wayne Public Works responded quickly to the flash flood warning. However, the community still suffered around $1.3 million in damage, mainly due to the airport and the walking trail.

“We kept watch on the creek as it was coming up, so as the water began to rise, we were out and driving about,” Hansen said. “That’s what we were doing, making sure we have the capabilities to close the nature trail, the airport and the roads if the need arises.”

Mrsny advised students and community members to use caution during floods, particularly when driving through flood waters. Facility Services Director Kyle Nelsen also wanted to share some advice with students regarding flood safety.

“I’d obviously watch weather sources like the Internet or the news,” Nelsen said. “Obviously, stay out of areas where there’s running water on solid surfaces, like streets. Just be aware of where you’re at and where you’re walking.”

Apps such as “The Weather Channel” app can help prepare in the event of an upcoming storm. In addition, Nebraska 511 is a traffic service which can help students and community members find safe routes to get to and from their destinations. WSC students concerned about safety may also reach out to Campus Security by phone at 402-375-7216. Facility Services is also reachable by phone at 402-375-7274.

Elijah Herrington
Abby Cuddy