Creighton’s campus may have not been directly hit by the recent flooding and river risings, but members of the Creighton community definitely felt its impact.
Going into Monday March 18, virtually all state highways leading into Omaha from the west were under water. This includes state Route 64 (West Maple Road), U.S. Highway 6 (West Dodge Road) and U.S. Highway 275 (West Center Road).
Kenzie Nelson, sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, is from Fremont, Nebraska, about 45 minutes northwest of Omaha.
Fremont found itself stranded by floodwater. The town lies wedged between the Platte and Elkhorn rivers.
“So basically, I was at work on Friday and my boss told us about how every road in and out of Fremont is closed,” Nelson said. “Some fast food restaurants and grocery stores were running out of food.”
Nelson found out from her work that pilots were offering free flights from Fremont Municipal Airport into Millard for anybody who needed to get back to Omaha.
“There were tons of people at the airport who needed to go to Omaha,” Nelson said. “I flew with my friend to Omaha, so she could drive to Lincoln.”
About 50 miles to the West of Fremont lies the hometown of College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, Jessica Buhman.
“We live about a quarter mile from a creek in rural Columbus, Nebraska and that Wednesday, we moved everything up from our basement because the creek was in our yard,” Buhman said. “We moved our cattle to higher ground too.”
It took Buhman four hours to get back to campus after spring break when a normal drive typically takes about an hour and 45 minutes.
Driving about 15 minutes south of Omaha lies several lake communities that feed directly off of the Platte River in Bellevue, Nebraska.
Karissa Jacobsen is a sophomore in the College of Nursing and a native of Hanson Lake community.
“The day of the flooding, I was staying at my grandmother’s house while she was out of the country on vacation,” Jacobsen said. “I received an alert early that morning, around 4 a.m., that the lakes around the area had begun evacuating. The dike between the Platte River and lakes was breaking.”
The floodwaters have receded out of the immediate Omaha area but the transition back to normal life is just beginning for many.
“We are not 100 percent sure what we can do to save any of the homes at the lake anymore,” said Jacobsen. “Our lake council mentioned possibly tearing them down and rebuilding.”
All three students made it back to Creighton safely as construction is underway to repair any damage the flood may have caused.