The Latest on a powerful storm system moving through the Midwest (all times local):
President Donald Trump says he has spoken to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and is praising first responders and emergency response teams for doing “a great job dealing” with flooding, high winds and road closures.
Trump tweeted Friday that the people of Nebraska and across the Midwest, especially farmers and ranchers, are feeling the impacts from severe weather.
Just spoke w/ @GovRicketts. The people of Nebraska & across the Midwest, especially the Farmers & Ranchers, are feeling the impacts from severe weather. The first responders & emergency response teams have done a great job dealing w/ record flooding, high winds, & road closures.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
Thousands of people have been urged to evacuate along eastern Nebraska rivers as a massive late-winter storm system has pushed streams and rivers out of their banks throughout the Midwest.
Some residents in nearly 30 communities along the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers have been asked to evacuate.
Wintry weather has knocked out power to a plant that treats wastewater draining from the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says fluctuating electricity stopped the plant Thursday night.
The agency says it doesn’t believe downstream drinking water will be affected, although a long-term shutdown could affect fish.
EPA spokeswoman Cynthia Peterson said Friday operators haven’t been able to reach the plant because the access road is blocked by at least one avalanche. She says it could take several days to clear the road.
The plant can be operated remotely.
The plant was installed after the EPA inadvertently triggered a wastewater spill from the Gold King in 2015, contaminating rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency for much of the state as heavy rain and melting snow flood roads, fields and communities.
Evers issued the declaration in an executive order Friday afternoon. The order directs all state agencies to assist with response and recovery and authorizes Maj. General Donald Dunbar to activate Wisconsin National Guard units as he deems necessary.
Flooding has rendered several highways impassable in the state. Rescuers in Fond du Lac had to move residents to higher ground after flooding along the Fond du Lac River. Flooding along the East River in Green Bay has forced some residents to evacuate. Green Bay also closed school Friday.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a disaster proclamation that would allow 15 additional counties in Iowa to be eligible for grant assistance to repair homes and cars and replace food or clothing caused by flash flooding.
Reynolds on Friday added the counties to the list eligible for state help to the 21 counties in northern and western Iowa she included in a disaster proclamation on Thursday.
Reynolds has also activated the state emergency operations center to coordinate the response to flooding and help monitor rapidly-evolving conditions.
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for portions of Iowa and says flooding of some roads and fields could continue into early next week.
Two Colorado campers have been found safe after they got caught in a late-winter blizzard that struck the region earlier this week.
Authorities say 20-year-old Michael Lee Gomez and 19-year-old Olivia Megan Schack, both of Arvada, were found Friday west of Boulder.
They had gone camping on Tuesday. The blizzard struck southeast Wyoming and northeast Colorado on Wednesday and Thursday, and the two took refuge in their car.
Authorities say two tornados and possibly a third touched down in mid-Michigan as a late-winter storm system trekked across the Midwest .
National Weather Service meteorologist Danny Costello says two tornados struck Thursday in Shiawassee County. Homes were reported damaged, while power was knocked out to thousands.
Officials also are looking into a possible touchdown in nearby Genesee County.
No injuries were reported.
Costello says survey teams were out Friday afternoon gathering data on the storm and damage.
The first tornado touched down about 6:45 p.m. Thursday near Corunna. The second touched down at 7:03 p.m. to the southeast around Vernon, about 21 miles (34 kilometers) southwest of Flint. Officials say the second tornado also touched down in nearby Durand about 7:05 p.m.
Lower Michigan also saw severe thunderstorm warnings, watches, flooding, high winds and hail.
Authorities say Iowa has shut down Interstate 29 at the Missouri state line due to flooding.
The Iowa Department of Transportation’s website shows the interstate or parts of it shut down for about 85 miles (136.79 kilometers), from around Missouri Valley to the Missouri state line. Motorists are directed to alternate routes.
Missouri River levels are expected to rise dramatically this weekend with a 1.5-foot rise expected by Saturday in some areas.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said in a news release that northwest Missouri is already experiencing significant flooding that’s closing roads and impacting homeowners and farmers.
The governor says the state is working with Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa to prepare detour plans in anticipation of the rising floodwaters closing major roadways.
The Missouri National Guard is temporarily relocating the 139th Airlift Wing’s C-130s from Rosecrans Air National Guard Base in St. Joseph as a precautionary measure.
Omaha Fire Chief Dan Olsen says dozens of people trapped by rising flood waters in Douglas County have been rescued since Thursday, including several first responders in rescue boats that capsized on the Elkhorn River.
That rescue happened late Thursday night near Fremont, when two boats carrying seven rescue crew members capsized while trying to reach a family whose basement walls had collapsed in floodwaters. Nebraska State Patrol helicopters were used to pull the crew members from the frigid water.
Olsen says some were in the water “for an extended period.” The rescued crew members were taken to a Fremont hospital for treatment and are expected to fully recover.
Officials say the family opted to stay in the home.
A major winter storm has prompted flooding in a wide swath of the Midwest.
Thousands of people have been urged to evacuate along eastern Nebraska rivers as a massive late-winter storm has pushed streams and rivers out of their banks throughout the Midwest.
Officials in Omaha, Nebraska, and surrounding communities are asking anyone who lives along the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers to leave their homes.
In Sarpy County south of Omaha, some 1,200 people along the Missouri area and another 1,400 along the Platte and Elkhorn rivers have been asked to evacuate. In Douglas County, people in about 200 homes along the Platte and Elkhorn have been asked to leave.
Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson says “Things are moving and changing at a rapid pace,” and people need to follow instructions.
The U.S. Coast Guard says all traffic on the Missouri River from about 50 miles south of Omaha, Nebraska, downstream to St. Joseph, Missouri, has been shut down due to the river’s high water levels.
The order came Friday. The Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also requested all river vessel operators create as little wake as possible between St. Joseph downstream to Kansas City to minimize levee damage.
Officials say the restrictions will be lifted as soon as flooding conditions improve.
The restrictions come as the river reached moderate flood stage at nearly 32 feet on Friday at Omaha, where it’s expected to crest at nearly 34 feet on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The river is expected to crest at St. Joseph on Tuesday at just over 30 feet. Major flood stage at St. Joseph is 27 feet.