Terrifying Flood Took Three Lives and Left Thousands Displaced in the Midwest

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 19, 2019
12:00 P.M.
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People have been evacuated in the Midwest after areas became flooded. Tragically, three lives have been lost and homes and businesses have been damaged in the flood emergency.


The main areas that were badly affected were Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

The historic flood has taken the lives of two people in Nebraska and another one in Iowa. In Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin more than 4,500 people have been evacuated from their homes.


People needed to leave their homes as strained levees gave way, causing hundreds of homes to fill with water. A witness, Gerald Simpson, said: "They were telling everybody, just grab what you can and get out.”

The three people who died were James Wilke, 50, who was killed while trying to rescue stranded motorists. Betty Hamernik, 80, died when floodwaters filled her home. Aleido Rojas Galan, 55, was found submerged.


Some towns were left cut off when 100 roads needed to be closed because of the flood. Jason Chicoine, a volunteer, said: "We are trapped, we can't get in or out of Fremont, so planes are flying in supplies from all over, little Learjets and Cessnas.”

Fremont, Nebraska, a town of just over 26,000 is now an island. A woman, who was on the ground planning to fly back to Omaha to get to work and school, was also discovered.


She said: "I think it's good to see the community come together, bringing supplies in from Omaha and other towns. Everyone's helping out.” On Thursday, the Missouri River is expected to crest in St. Joseph and its reached record heights of up to 40 feet.

However, more than a dozen rivers are currently flooded. Gary Young, a Plattsmouth resident, has been trying to assess any damage to his camper that was floating about a mile away.


Throughout the winter, he had been living there with his wife and their dog with no problems until the flooding began over the weekend. They were forced to evacuate and now stay at a hotel in Council Bluffs, Iowa.


Young said:

“We thought we had another day or so to get our stuff out. [We] went to bed that night, got up at 5 a.m. and my wife said that the water was already going over the road. We made the decision to grab what we could, get the vehicles and get the vehicles out.”


Speaking about their future, he said: “It’s kind of up in the air right now where we may end up.” The City of Plattsmouth has even declared a water emergency.

The Midwest tends to get floods due to melting snow, "bomb cyclone" rain, and climate change. All these factors came together to cause the current floods in the area.

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