One man was missing Saturday after flash floods swept away mobile homes, forced campers out of a state park and knocked out the town's water service system.
Two Crawford men spent the night in a tree after being trapped by rising water, said Fort Robinson superintendent Vince Rotherham.Thunderstorms late Friday dumped as much as 7 inches of rain and hail as large as 7 inches in diameter on the region in far northwestern Nebraska.
The sky was sunny Saturday afternoon, but residents braced for more possible storms late Saturday into early Sunday.
The flood destroyed a dam on the White River and Crawford's water collecting system. The town of 1,100 in the panhandle area had only a two- or three-day supply in its 750,000-gallon tank, Mayor Bob Scoggan said.
Residents were ordered to use water only for emergencies.
The flooding also destroyed a new $1 million golf course, heavily damaged a fish hatchery and swept away bridges.
Nearby Fort Robinson State Park, the historic Army post where Sioux chief Crazy Horse was killed, reported broken windows and flood damage in camping areas.
Two bridges in the park were taken out by the flooding White River. County authorities said bridges on county roads also were destroyed.
About 10 families were evacuated from a mobile-home court and about a dozen campers fled from the park, authorities said. Emergency shelter was offered in public schools.
Some mobile homes were swept away by high water, said City Council President Kyle Reeves.
National Guard members, Nebraska State Patrol troopers and local disaster workers were looking for one person believed lost in the flooding.
Ann Garvin, a spokeswoman for disaster workers, said the missing man was one of five initially reported as rescued. She said there actually were only four people rescued.
"The person who is missing, as I understand it, was from the mobile-home park," Garvin said.
Helicopter pilots flying over the area reported dead cattle littered the White River banks in the Crawford area, said Carl Dierks, a volunteer emergency worker from Chadron.
Highways leading west and north out of town were closed Saturday morning, but receding water allowed officials to open the roads during the afternoon.
The Legend Buttes golf course, built on land donated by the park along the banks of the White River, was covered with silt and debris.