The North Bend Eagle


Local fire departments reexamine flood actions

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 3/4/20

With the upcoming anniversary of the Flood of 2019, North Bend, Morse Bluff and area residents are keeping a watchful eye on the weather and staying tune to the forecast in hopes that the flood waters will not reappear in our towns, villages, housing area and farms.

Reassurance from the National Weather Service at a Feb. 4 meeting in Fremont, attended by over 500 people, that flood factors are not present this year as they were in 2019 offered some hope.

North Bend Fire Chief Waylon Fischer said that the North Bend Fire Department is prepared for flooding more than they were last year.

“I have taken more National Incident command training,” Fischer said. “We purchased five water rescue suits and an inflatable boat.”

Fischer said the local department is working with Nebraska Forest Service to get military vehicles to the area if needed, so they would not be driving the NBVFD trucks in flood water.

Fischer said fire department representatives attended a meeting with city council, Dodge County Emergency Manager, North Bend Central school personnel, PeopleService, and OPPD to evaluate last year’s response and prepare if there would be repeat flooding.

Fischer said the department watches the river and checking the levy system.

“The river is looking good and we have a good channel flowing,” Fischer said. “I would say our risk for flooding is low this year. Last year at this time the river was still iced over and we got all that rain which caused our flooding.”

Morse Bluff Fire Chief Eric Chvatal said their fire department has had meetings to discuss what they would change, what they can do better if floods were to occur again.

“We will do a better job of dispersing personnel, knowing where everyone is,” Chvatal said. “Better communication.”

Chvatal feels that the way things look now, it is looking pretty good to avoid a flood.

“We are sitting pretty good,” he said. “The river is pretty good and there is a nice forecast for the next two weeks.

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