Hamburg’s water plant is among the latest victims of the floods of 2019.

City officials were forced to shut the plant down Sunday night after floodwaters spread into the community. Fremont County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Crecelius says critical problems developed when water overtopped the famed “Ditch 6” levee — a focal point of the 2011 flooding.
“There is water in the south end of town at this point in time,” Crecelius says. “There was water flowing over the floodgate that they put on the bridge there at the Ditch 6 levee. They also had water coming in from Manildra and the other facilities in the southwest corner of town.”

The big Hesco barriers have been set up in hopes of preventing water from getting further into Hamburg. “We’ve had a couple other issues take place out on the bottom with a few drainage dikes that have broke and are being overtopped,” Crecelius says. “That is, in turn, going to cause more water build-up around Thurman, so it could very well get into town.”

Hamburg officials are asking residents not to flush their toilets, and they’ve expressed fear the city may run out of water within 24 hours. Crecelius says he hopes to secure a tanker truck for Grape Community Hospital in Hamburg and to secure water pallets for residents. Officials are also monitoring developments in Thurman, which was evacuated early Sunday after floodwaters inched closer to the community.

“There is some overtopping and another breach,” he says. “That’s all going in the direction of Percival. Ultimately, all of this will be on the outskirts of Hamburg just like it was in 2011.” Shelters in Hamburg have been relocated to nearby Sidney, Tabor and Shenandoah.

(By Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah)