Neligh, Nebraska may go dark - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Neligh, Nebraska may go dark

NELIGH, Nebraska (KTIV) -- Neligh, Nebraska just can't catch a break.

City officials say the Elkhorn River which runs through town, has tripled in width thanks to all the water eating away at its banks.

Now, some power lines near the river are in danger of sliding into the water.

Chunks of Neligh, Nebraska keep falling in the river. Roads, trees and next on the chopping block the town's power supply.

"There is not a lot you can do about it it's mother nature and it's going to do what it wants to do," said Neligh Mayor Jeri Anderson.

Neligh is supplied by two power lines. One has been smashed by a tree and out of service.

The other a few yards away, is slowly slipping into the Elkhorn.

If you look right across the river that's the power line that's supplying Neligh with all their energy.

Thursday it was at fifty feet away from the bank, now only twenty.

Things get worse, the city is worried the approach to the Neligh bridge will soon give way, adding a rush of water and debris to the river aimed directly at Neligh's life line.

"We're fearful then that it will then wash out that remaining twenty foot and will lose that line," said Neligh Superintendent Lyle Juracek

If the power goes out, Neligh has set up generators that will supply power to half of the city every three hours.

But that plan can only work if the city can take the heat.

"If that does happen we are going to have to get on the radio stations and ask the citizens of Neligh to not use their air conditioners, to use only electricity necessary," said Juracek.

And that backup energy plan will have to do for some time, because of the power lines isolated location across the river, for now it can't be reached.

"The longest would probably be a week a couple days to a week depending on if we can get over there and what they can do to reroute our electricity," said Mayor Anderson.

"Well we have got about all the water we can handle I guess mother nature is just letting us know who is boss," said Juracek.

No doubt the city is preparing for the worst and as the clock ticks, parts of town continue to disappear.


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