- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) - The swollen Big Blue River in Beatrice has fallen nearly 1.5 feet since cresting overnight at more than a dozen feet above flood stage.

National Weather Service records showed Friday that the river rose to 30.1 feet, less than 3 feet from the record of 33 feet.

Floodwaters had closed U.S. Highways 77 and 136 into and out of the southeast Nebraska city. On Thursday workers at the Gage County Museum removed items as water approached the main building and storage facility. The museum sits barely a block east of the river.

Rain reports from the Wednesday-Thursday overnight storms ranged from 5 to more than 10 inches in southeast Nebraska. Gov. Pete Ricketts declared a state of emergency.

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