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Heavy Rains Lead To Flash Flooding In Eastern Nebraska

Severe thunderstorms struck eastern Nebraska Saturday, bringing torrential rains and flash flooding to the region.
National Weather Service
Severe thunderstorms struck eastern Nebraska Saturday, bringing torrential rains and flash flooding to the region.

Torrential rains drenched eastern Nebraska Saturday night, leading to flash flooding in Omaha that flooded businesses, stranded drivers and left thousands without power.

Thunderstorms were accompanied by 60 mph winds and quarter-sized hail.

Water rushed through the streets of downtown and midtown, the Omaha World-Herald reported, damaging roads and leaving dozens of motorists stranded.

Some 18,000 residents were left without power at the storm's peak Saturday. The Omaha Public Power District said crews worked throughout the night to restore services to customers, but 165 customers were still without power as of Sunday evening.

Residents posted video of the flooding on social media:

The National Weather Service reported parts of Omaha received an estimated 3 inches of rain, but some surrounding areas may have received nearly double that. And while the severe weather storm has passed, residents and motorists are advised to stay home and off the roads.

Some local businesses said they would be closed as they assess and clean up flood damage.

The Omaha Police Department warned residents of missing manhole covers, debris in roadways and standing water over Twitter. No deaths or major injuries were reported as of Sunday.

The rains have stopped and the skies have cleared, but the city may not have long to recover before the next storm hits. The NWS is forecastingtemperatures in the mid-to-high 90s Monday, which could bring another round of severe storms.

The city was battered by severe weather just over a month ago. The storm brought high winds with gusts as high as 100 mph and left about 188,000 customers without power, the largest outage in 13 years, The Associated Press reported.

Extreme weather events such as flooding are expected to become more frequent and severe as a result of climate change.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Dustin Jones is a reporter for NPR's digital news desk. He mainly covers breaking news, but enjoys working on long-form narrative pieces.