The “bomb cyclone” slammed the central US with hurricane-like winds and blizzard conditions this week, leaving in its tracks heavy rains and flooding.
In a news conference Friday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said the state has experienced historic flooding in nearly every region.
Nebraska rescue teams have been pulling trapped residents out of flood waters since Thursday.
James Wilke, a Columbus farmer, got a call to assist a stranger, and never came home. According to CNN affiliate KMTV, a close family friend posted on social media about his last moments.
“It is no surprise to anyone that knew James that when he got the phone call to assist emergency responders … his answers would be yes,” Jodi L. Hefti wrote on Facebook.
“With the guidance of emergency responders, James drove his tractor over the Shell Creek bridge on the Monestary Road and the bridge gave out. James and the tractor went down into the flood water below.”
Crews around Platte Valley were rescuing residents from King Lake when they were also stuck.
Continued flood warnings
“Anyone with interests along impacted rivers should monitor closely/take action,” the weather service said.
Many central Iowa rivers may see moderate flooding into next week from the rain and snowmelt runoff, the weather service said. A flood warning for northern and parts of central Iowa has been extended through Saturday evening as “local creeks and streams, as well as the main river branches are running high,” according to the weather service.