OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — At least one person has died and at least two others are missing in floodwaters that have swamped towns and farmland, washed out roads and bridges and drowned livestock in Nebraska in the wake of a late-winter storm that overwhelmed rivers and creeks with rain and snowmelt.

(credit: CBS)

The family of 50-year-old James Wilke, of Columbus, Nebraska, says he was driving his tractor to rescue stranded motorists on a county road cut off by flooding Thursday when a bridge he was crossing collapsed. His cousin, Paul Wilke, told the Columbus Telegram that James Wilke’s body was found downstream. Gass Haney Funeral Home confirmed James Wilke’s death.

Officials in other parts of Nebraska say a Norfolk man was seen on top of his flooded car late Thursday before being swept away in the water and another man is missing after being swept away by waters when a dam collapsed on the Niobrara River.

“As the sun rises, flooding continues through a good portion of Nebraska. Many communities have been cut off or have heavily restricted access, including the Metro area. Only travel if necessary,” the Nebraska Department of Transportation stated on Saturday morning.

LINK: American Red Cross of Nebraska and Southwest Iowa

The Latest on flooding in the Midwest (all times local):

11:35 p.m.

Rescue and evacuation efforts have been continuing in many areas of eastern Nebraska, where a deluge of recent rainwater and snowmelt was sent pouring over frozen ground, overwhelming creeks and rivers.

Efforts overnight and into Saturday were hampered by reports of levee breaches and washouts of bridges and roads, including part of Highway 92 leading in an out of southwest Omaha. Authorities also confirmed Saturday that a bridge on that highway that crosses the Elkhorn River had been washed out Saturday.

The towns of North Bend and a large portion of Columbus were submerged Friday. Emergency workers used boats to evacuate residents.

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10:45 a.m.

The National Weather Service says recent heavy rains paired with rising temperatures melting snow are causing flooding in the Midwest.

Weather service meteorologist Brian Pierce in Davenport, Iowa, says moderate flooding Saturday along the Mississippi River is just the beginning. Pierce calls it the “dress rehearsal for the main event that’s going to happen in early April.” He says there’s snow in Minnesota and Wisconsin that’s yet to melt.

Pierce says when it does there will be another round of flooding in those states that will then move south along the Mississippi River into Illinois and Iowa.

The Mississippi River recorded moderate flooding Saturday from Rock Island, Illinois, south to Burlington, Iowa.

Flooding is also occurring along other rivers and creeks in the Midwest. In eastern Nebraska, at least one person is dead and two others are missing.

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10:15 a.m.

At least one person has died and at least two others are missing in floodwaters that have swamped towns and farmland, washed out roads and bridges and drowned livestock in Nebraska in the wake of a late-winter storm that overwhelmed rivers and creeks with rain and snowmelt.

The family of 50-year-old James Wilke, of Columbus, Nebraska, says he was driving his tractor to rescue stranded motorists on a county road cut off by flooding Thursday when a bridge he was crossing collapsed. His cousin, Paul Wilke, told the Columbus Telegram that James Wilke’s body was found downstream. Gass Haney Funeral Home confirmed James Wilke’s death.

Officials in other parts of Nebraska say a Norfolk man was seen on top of his flooded car late Thursday before being swept away in the water and another man is missing after being swept away by waters when a dam collapsed on the Niobrara River.

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