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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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Salt Creek Watershed Project

Waverly High School Salt Creek Watershed Study

History

The city of Lincoln lies in a roughly elliptical dish, carved from the once rolling landscape by Salt Creek and its smaller tributaries which merge.

The origin of these salt marshes lies under the region's mantle of fine loess soil and along the network of streams which have carved through it.

The main source of the saline waters lies deeper, in ancient shales laid down in Cretaceous times.

Cretaceous times are also known as the Age of Reptiles.

This occurred some 70-160 million years ago, when much of central North America was covered by a vast inland sea.

Salt Creek Timeline

The Flood of 1950

On May 9, 1950, crowds of 8,000 gathered in Lincoln to greet President Harry S. Truman. When the president arrived, several inches of rain had already fallen. In a several day period close to 10 inches of rain fell on southeast Nebraska.

Damages

  • estimated statewide total = $53,000,000 damage
  • $1,500,000 damage to agricultural establishments.
  • $3,219,400 was done to the roads and bridges
  • 48,100,000 was done to the land
  • 88% of the fields destroyed for total loss of between $1.52 and $7.21 per acre
  • estimated statewide total = $53,000,000 damage
  • Approximately 22 people in Southeast Nebraska drowned in the flood.

There were many people missing, and they were presumed to be dead.