State Park Superintendent John Lemmon reported significant flooding due to an ice jam at Smith Falls State Park on the banks of the Niobrara National Scenic River just east of Valentine, Nebraska. Cold temperatures have frozen the river surface and formed an ice jam forcing the river out of its banks on both sides. The campground has been covered with water and ice blocks producing as yet unknown damage to campground facilities.
Ice flows and flowing water covered both the trail to Nebraska’s highest waterfall as well as the Jim McAllister Nature Trail. The NPS and volunteers help maintain these trails through a partnership with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The full extent of the damage cannot be assessed until waters and ice recede. Rangers documented the situation stating that the area "looks like an arctic landscape". Ice jams are not uncommon on the river, though they rarely impact high visitor use areas such as Smith Falls State Park.