Flash flood at the Missouri River


The 2019 flooding around Plattsmouth, Nebraska, was a catastrophic event that brought immense devastation to the region. Triggered by a combination of factors, including heavy rainfall and snowmelt, the flooding inundated homes, farms, and infrastructure along the Missouri River.

Climate change played a role in this event, as rising global temperatures are leading to more extreme weather patterns, with heavier precipitation and increased risk of flooding. In the case of Plattsmouth, the area experienced record-breaking rainfall, with some areas receiving over 50 cm of rain in a single month. This excessive rainfall, combined with the saturated ground from earlier precipitation, overwhelmed the river’s capacity to contain water.

The flooding affected over 2,000 homes and forced the evacuation of nearly 1,000 people in the Plattsmouth area. It caused millions of Euros in damages to homes, infrastructure, and agriculture, disrupting the lives of countless residents.

Satellite images captured the dramatic expansion of the floodwaters, which swallowed entire communities and vast swaths of farmland. Moreover, the data allow for accurately estimating the affected areas and the damage caused by the flood.


  • Satellite Map:
    • Look at the satellite image maps deselect all layers by unticking the respective boxes.
    • Select now the satellite image from 2019, aquired during the flood. Try to assess the width of the flooded area.
    • Zoom in and try to identify areas, where roads are flooded.
    • Add the false-colour infrared image from 2019 and compare. What is better visible in this representation, what less good?
    • Add the satellite image from 2020 – which changes can you identify? Are there still traces of the flood visible, e.g. in the field structures?
    • Add the satellite image from 2023 and zoom in. What signs of recovery can you see?
    • Deselect all satellite image layers and select the 2023 water layer derived from the satellite image. How does it compare with the water bodies in the Open Streetmap (OSM) map?
    • Add now the 2019 water layer and compare.
  • EO Browser:
    • Open the EO Browser.
    • Find the most recent Sentinel-2 dataset covering the area displayed in the satellite map.
    • Select a true colour visualisation.
    • Can you identify additional, recent changes in the area (check e.g. agricultural land)?
    • Select the false colour infrared representation. Can you identify the land-use of the most intensely vegetated areas (represented by bright red colours)?


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