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Significant flooding in area; Water rescue near Lennox

A historic storm system moved across the central United States March 12-14, 2019 according to the National Weather Service. This storm system produced blizzard conditions, heavy rainfall, and severe storms.

Snow melt and heavy rains have led to historic flooding in many portions of South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. The cities of Lennox and Worthing and all of Lincoln County were impacted by the rainfall and melting snow.

In the morning of March 14 the Lennox Fire Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an occupied vehicle stuck in rushing water west of Lennox on 278th St. The Sheriff’s office reported that the driver was able to get out on his own without any injuries. The driver admitted to driving around a road closed barrier and was subsequently cited for the violation.

This vehicle remained in the water until conditions improved.

That was the message for the next two days, “do not drive through water going over the roads. Turn around, don’t drown.”

Lincoln County issued a no travel advisory on March 13, as many country roads were under water and impassible. The Department of Transportation, County Highway, and Townships tried to mark closed roads. However, there were not enough signs to mark every road that had water flowing over it. Highway Officials asked everyone to avoid township roads whenever possible, and to be cautious driving on County and State roads during the spring thaw/rain event.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Swenson said as of last Friday there had been 49 emergency calls for service related to the flooding.

“There is a lot of damage to roads and possibly bridges, however we won’t know the extent of the damage until the water goes down,” Swenson said.

The country roads were not the only ones affected, of course, the city of Lennox saw significant impacts within city limits. Due to flooding the following roads were closed on March 13: 4th and Cleveland, 2nd and Cedar, East Boynton (west of Caseys to Cherry St), and West Boynton (from N Elm St to Cleveland).

Lennox City Administrator Nate Vander Plaats said last week, “We’ve asked residents to conserve water for the time being in order to alleviate strain on an inundated system. This will allow water to evacuate our system and return to normal levels.”

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