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Ice Causes Flooding In Park

Niobrara National Scenic River

National Park News

Significant flooding has occurred along the Niobrara River due to an ice jam at Smith Falls State Park 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 are producing as yet unknown damage to campground facilities. Ice flows and flowing water cover both the trail to Nebraska‚Äôs 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 have documented the situation, noting that the area "looks like an arctic landscape." Ice jams are not uncommon on the river, but they rarely impact high visitor use areas such as Smith Falls State Park. 



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