Dawson County communities begin to clean up after this week's flood

COZAD, Neb. KNOP-TV It's been three days since heavy rains inundated communities across Dawson County. As communities begin to dry out, homeowners are starting to clean up the damage.

Communities in Dawson County begin to clean up from this week's flood. (Source: Beatriz Reyna/KNOP-TV)

Karl and Margie Strohmyer live east of Cozad. They were trapped in their homes for the past two days due to the flood waters.

They say they had up to four and half feet of water on their property and spent most of Thursday pumping water out of their home.

"When it dried, we couldn't get into to the garage because it was full of water, the utility room where I do my laundry was full of water too," said Margie Strohmyer. "When I walked in there, it was nothing but sand and dirt from the lake. The lake didn't have anywhere else to go."

The Strohmyer's say the last they were hit with a major flood was in 2008.

Dawson County also issued a State of Emergency Declaration Thursday, along with Adams and Hall County.

"Everybody wants you to increase the culvers and the bridge, but then you move it downstream to the next guy and you can't increase the flow to dump into somebody else." said Dawson County District Five Commissioner Everett Hagan.

While county leaders wait to hear from the state and federal government, they say now is the time to start working together.

"There is some places that, yes I would love to see mitigation maybe get the water out of here quicker, but there is no money for that, that's considered maintenance," said Dawson County Emergency Manager Brian Woldt. "It's not a county problem, it's other organizations within the county that aren't maintaining their ditches. You have to remember the Platte River used to flow through this area; it used to be a mile wide at times."