Local Flood Hazard
Low Lying areas in the City of Lincoln are subject to periodic flooding from Salt Creek and its tributaries. The most severe flooding has occurred in late spring and early summer as a result of snow melt, heavy thunderstorm rainfall, ice jams, or combinations of the above.
Flooding in the City of Lincoln is caused by 11 main sources: Salt Creek, Oak Creek, Middle Creek, Antelope Creek, Beal Slough, Haines Branch, Cardwell Branch, Elk Creek, Lynn Creek, Deadman's run, and Little Salt Creek. Flooding along Salt Creek and Oak Creek is of long duration with ample warning time prior to the peak. Little Salt Creek, Middle Creek, and Haines Branch have smaller drainage basins with a shorter flood duration and less warning time prior to the peak. Flooding along Antelope Creek, Beal Slough, Cardwell Branch, Elk Creek, Lynn Creek, Stevens Creek, and Deadman's Run is of short duration with little warning time prior to the peak.
Since 1900, 100 floods have been recorded along Salt Creek and Its tributaries in and near the City of Lincoln. Of those 17 were classified as major, 30 as moderate, and 49 as minor. The Salt Creek flood in May of 1950 resulted from a thunderstorm that dumped 11 inches of rainfall in a 6 hour period over the Salt Creek drainage basin. Nearly 20,000 acres were flooded and 9 people died. In Lincoln 600 homes, 80 commercial establishments, railroad yards, and other properties were flooded. Basin damages were estimated at 2.9 million dollars. If a repeat flood event of this magnitude were to occur it could result in greater damages and greater loss of life.