City, County Establish Flood Incident Command Center

By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

The City of Omaha Public Works Department, Omaha Fire Department and Douglas County Emergency Management have established an incident command center as a precaution because of the risk of flooding associated with rains and the Missouri River.

The Missouri River reached an elevation just below moder­ate flood stage last week and is expected to remain at or above the minor flood stage for at least two weeks, and likely much longer.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects a higher rate of release from the Gavins Point Dam through at least June, with high release rates throughout the sum­mer, due to heavy rain and snow in the Dakotas.

A news release from Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s office says rain can raise the river by 2 feet or more, resulting in the need to monitor the gates that keep the river from backing up.

The river is expected to remain just below levels that impact the levees.

“As was demonstrated in 2011 and earlier this spring, the City has a reliable and robust flood protec­tion system that is well managed and maintained and fully capable of protecting the City from the riv­er,” the news release states. “The primary concern is to be able to get the water out of the City when it rains.”

Pumps are being staged across the levee and flood control system to maintain sanitary flows to the treatment plant and pump storm water over the levee during rain events, according to the city.

Dodge Park will remain closed until water recedes and it can be cleaned and opened safely. The Lewis and Clark Landing is also impacted. Barricades are up in some locations for public safety.

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