Rains wash out Nebraska I-80, trucker killed

| 7/9/2002

Nebraska's Gov. Mike Johanns promised Monday that road crews would work around the clock to reopen I-80 after weekend flooding severed the major traffic artery. Truckdriver William B. Baucam, 46, of Dallas, NC, was killed when his rig plunged off a washed-out bridge approach.

State highway officials hope to reopen the freeway by Monday, July 15. The highway was cut when flooding caused by 10 inches of rain on Saturday washed out the approaches to two bridges spanning a ravine near Ogallala. Much of the area escaped major damage, but businesses to the southeast, including a truckstop, were flooded.

The Nebraska Department of Roads advises westbound drivers to detour around the area by exiting at Ogallala, then travel northwest on U.S. 26 to Oshkosh, then south on Nebraska 27 to U.S. 30 back to I-80. Eastbound drivers are advised to exit I-80 at Brule, then travel east on U.S. 30 to Ogallala, then south on N-61 back to I-80.