Photos

 

Lake McConaughy Fly-Over With Senator Ben Nelson

Senator Nelson asked some members of the local media to accompany him on a short flight around Lake McConaughy to view the effects of drought and decreased snow run-off. Many areas that look green and lush were, just a few years ago, under water. There are areas on the west side of the lake where boat ramps once were busy with activity. A small town, Lemoyne, was literally moved from its previous location so the reservoir could be filled. The trees and house foundations are now showing through the water and in some areas are completely visible. Some estimate the water will come back, some are not so optimistic. The water is primarily used for irrigation purposes, though some electricity is also produced with the water as Kingsley Dam is also a hydroelectric facility. Lake McConaughy is a beautiful lake regardless of how much water is or isn't in it. The beaches are a beautiful white, fine sand. The water is incredible in the summer, and the accompanying wildlife can be breath-taking. Every year, the Central Public Power and Irrigation District opens parts of the dam for bald eagle viewing. Stunning. Enjoy the pictures.

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    Nebraska Democratic U.S. Senator Ben Nelson: In 1990, Ben Nelson entered the realm of Nebraska politics by running for Governor. He won the Democratic primary by only 42 votes. He won the governor’s office be besting incumbent Kay Orr by 4,000 votes. Nelson’s eight years in the governor’s office were highlighted by balanced budgets, expanded health care for children, tax reductions, ethanol production and approval ratings that reached eighty percent. Nelson’s plan as Governor was to bridge the gaps between rural and urban areas; he called his initiative “One Nebraska.” Nelson was re-elected Governor in 1994 with 74% of the vote, the largest margin of victory for a governor in half a century. His second term agenda included creating a “more efficient and effective state government.” In 2000, Nelson ran for the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Senator Bob Kerrey. Nelson carried the day even as George W. Bush won Nebraska with 62% of the vote. -according to http://bennelson.senate.gov/about/biography.cfm
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    Flying directly over Kingsley Dam and looking to the west over the majestic Lake McConaughy. As I recall, there were 40 MPH winds that day in a dual-prop airplane. It was very difficult to get a clean shot as the plane was being knocked around severely. Senator Nelson made us all feel at ease as he spoke about the time his plane was required to perform a cork-screw landing in Baghdad during the beginning of the war in Iraq.
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    You can see some of the effects of the past couple years' worth of decreased snow run-off, Lake McConaughy's primary source of water. The layers on the beach represent decreases in volume in the lake. Still... THOSE are beautiful beaches!
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    The western portion of Lake McConaughy, much of which used to be under water. Now it is lush green swamp/pasture land.
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    More of the western part of Lake McConaughy.
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    That stream is the North Platte River which feeds Lake McConaughy from the west. All of that area was under water at the turn of the millenium.
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    The north side of the lake and one of the most popular beaches near Martin Bay. Those beaches are packed during many holidays and weekends throughout the warm season.
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    Beautiful Lake McConaughy!
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    Dry farmland, an unfortunate side effect of drought.
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    Nothing like the Nebraska horizon.
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    This picture was taken at the beautiful visitor's center on the southeast port of the lake. The center houses the history of the dam, the reservoir, as well as some irrigation history. The back window overlooks the stunning Lake McConaughy horizon.
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