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Eastern Colorado Residents Got A Little Time To Prepare For Flooding

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Ole Johnson uses heavy machinery to build a wall between the South Platte River and his property (credit: CBS)

Ole Johnson uses heavy machinery to build a wall between the South Platte River and his property (credit: CBS)

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SEDGWICK, Colo. (CBS4) – The creep of all the water was still making its way to the eastern edge of Colorado Tuesday morning, but it was no longer creeping by the afternoon. There are a number of residents who had time to prepare, but the water is still creating problems.

For days residents in Sedgwick County knew the water was coming. Some turned to sandbags, while others took to heavy machinery to try and build up enough land to keep their property safe from the rising waters of the South Platte River.

“Any preparation we need to do now, because when the flood water comes you just watch it and you pray,” Ole Johnson said.

Johnson lives on the wrong side of Sedgwick. His alfalfa farm is the only thing that separates him and the South Platte River.

“So the neighbors started building a berm and I thought, ‘That looks like a decent idea,’ ” Johnson said. “So then we started building a dyke. And we’re hoping if the water comes out of the river that the dyke will protect the property.”

The last major flood in the area was in 1965. Johnson says he remembers water reaching his house. This year he’s afraid it will be worse.

“It’s trying; I’ve got an upset tummy,” he said.

It’s because Johnson is aware of what’s happened to the west in the town of Crook.

“We have major water and that’s what our concern was,” said Bruce Kokes, Crook volunteer firefighter. “We have so much major water to the west and north of what we were anticipating.”

Crook has been evacuated as water surrounds the town and nearby homes. Johnson says he’ll watch the water before he decides to evacuate.

“If the sheriff comes into the yard and says ‘evacuate,’ obviously he has the six shooter, so I’ll evacuate,” Johnson said.

A Colorado Department of Transportation employee told CBS4 the water was rising at 6 inches every 15 minutes Tuesday evening.

Colorado Floods: How To Help

The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.

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