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National Guard Called to Help in Flood-Stricken Nebraska Town

May 11, 1991

CRAWFORD, Neb. (AP) _ A dozen National Guard troops were in this panhandle town today to help in the aftermath of flash flooding that covered roads and forced people from mobile homes and campsites.

There were no immediate reports of deaths as heavy thunderstorms Friday night drove the White River out of its banks and dropped hail up to 7 inches in diameter.

About midnight, five people were rescued from rising water with a state Game and Parks Commission airboat, City Council President Kyle Reeves said. Three were in a mobile home park and two were in nearby Fort Robinson State Park.

″That’s all we knew of that were stranded or missing,″ Reeves said.

Windows in Crawford and Fort Robinson were smashed by hail.

The National Guard unit from Chadron was activated to help search the state park and hilly, canyon-carved terrain around Crawford for rural families and campers who might be stranded.

Reeves said about 10 mobile homes at the edge of the town were evacuated with campers at Fort Robinson. Crawford, a community of about 1,800, is in the extreme northwestern corner of the state.

The White River near Crawford normally runs at 3 1/2 feet and was as much as 16 feet over that Friday night, Reeves said. At Glen, 10 miles southwest of Crawford, 7 inches of rain fell, he said.

Four or five mobile homes were swept away by water, volunteer firefighters said.

The White River flows along the edge of Crawford and through the middle of Fort Robinson, an old Army post that is a popular vacation spot. No one answered several phone calls placed to the switchboard phone at the park this morning.

A city park in Crawford was heavily damaged, Reeves said.

″The water was awfully high. We’ve got reports of bridges out, highways closed and livestock running loose,″ said National Guard Sgt. Terry Cogdill.

U.S. Highway 20 between Crawford and Harrison and Nebraska Highway 71 north from Crawford were closed by high water. The National Weather Service reported many roads in the area were under water.

Cogdill said Crawford officials reported some cattle and a mobile home floating downstream on the White River.

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