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2019 midwest flood

Nebraska will receive more than $46 million in federal money to help pay for repairs to roads and bridges that were needed after widespread flooding struck the state in the spring of 2019. The federal money is part of $574 million in emergency aid announced Tuesday that the U.S. Transportation Department is distributing to 39 states and Puerto Rico. Nebraska transportation officials have said the flooding in March 2019 forced the closure of 3,300 miles of highway in the state and damaged 27 bridges.

Haworth Park In Bellevue Faces Long Road To Reopening

Sep 16, 2020

The City of Bellevue is working with a local businessman to reopen a park damaged by floods.  The city says it's leased out Haworth Park to a help offset the millions of dollars in costs to clean-up and re-open it.  So far there's no price tag on how much it will cost to revive the park, and no time table on when the work will be complete.

Nonstop Wet Weather This Week Not A Flood Risk

Sep 10, 2020
WOWT

Days of rain in the Omaha area aren't increasing the risk for flooding. The National Weather Service says steady rain over a long period of time should only raise river levels by a foot.  They also say rivers are more likely to go up near urban areas where rain is running off of streets, parking lots, and other paved areas.

Nebraska has officially dispatched more National Guard members to respond to the coronavirus pandemic than it did during last year’s record-setting, statewide floods. Gov. Pete Ricketts says 393 Nebraska National Guard soldiers and airmen have been working on the state’s pandemic response, more than the 329 that were mobilized to help with the historic 2019 floods. The Guard has established six mobile testing teams that have worked in 29 different Nebraska cities, including the hard-hit areas of the state, where they’ve helped public health officials administer coronavirus tests.

The Omaha District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced progress in repairing a levee system of the Platte River in eastern Nebraska damaged last year during devastating spring floods. The Corps says it has awarded a $1.68 million construction contract to KEU Inc. of Vancouver, Washington, to repair a levee system between Valley and Fremont. The Corps estimated that there are more than 1,300 structures and property worth $1 billion behind the system. The Corps did not give an estimated completion date for the repairs.

Paradise Lakes Mobile Homes Slated for Destruction

Feb 28, 2020

A flood-damaged mobile home park in Bellevue will be torn down. Bellevue city officials say demolition of more than 200 mobile homes at Paradise Lakes will start in about 30 days. The mobile homes were condemned after they were damaged by floodwaters in March 2019.  The mobile homes have attracted looters and have been the scene of house fires over the past year.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Omaha District says work crews have closed the final breach of a Missouri River levee in the far northwest corner of Missouri that broke open during massive flooding last year. The break just southwest of Rock Port was one of several along the levee section that saw thousands of rural acres submerged and a section of Interstate 29 and other roads in the region damaged and closed to traffic. The Corps says crews will continue restoring the levee section to its pre-flood height.

Last March, Eastern Nebraska and surrounding areas experienced record-breaking floods especially along the Platte and Elkhorn Rivers.  This spring, the National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting an “above-normal” flood risk in the same areas.

Butch Kinerney is Chief of Marketing and Outreach for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Butch stops by the KIOS-FM studios to chat with Mike Hogan about  flood risk in the Eastern NE region, tips to help residents prepare for floods, and resources to find more information.

More information and resources from FEMA can be found at:

  • FloodSmart.gov website
  • Info about FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program
  • brochure that answers the question “Why do I need flood insurance?”

All the bridges damaged during last spring's massive flooding in Nebraska have now been reopened. The Nebraska Department of Transportation said the Nebraska 13 bridge near Hadar in northeast Nebraska reopened Friday. The bridge about four miles north of Norfolk was the final one of 27 bridges damaged during last spring's flooding to reopen. The flooding last March caused the closure of 3,300 miles of highway in Nebraska. All of the highways affected by the flooding have been reopened. The Transportation Department says it spent $2.8 million to replace the Hadar bridge. 

The Nebraska Department of Transportation has closed a stretch of Highway 275 between West Point and Highway 91 this morning as ice jams pushed Elkhorn River waters over the roadway.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said they are expecting one of its biggest spring runoff seasons on record and also has been keeping an eye on ice jams in the area.

Ice jams are not all that uncommon this time of year, but the situation near Scribner prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood advisory earlier this week.

Nebraska officials say the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated nearly $109 million in federal funds in the aftermath of last year's devastating historic floods. The Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds will help support Nebraska's disaster relief, long-term recovery and restoration efforts following the floods. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development has begun an approximate six-month process to determine distribution of the disaster funds to areas affected by flooding. Local governments are eligible recipients under the program.

Missouri River Breaches Repaired

Jan 28, 2020

Flood damage repairs are continuing along the Missouri River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported yesterday that two Missouri River outlet breaches were closed on Saturday.  They are the third and fourth breaches to be repaired on Missouri River Levee System L-594.  More than 500 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers and their tributaries have seen significant flooding over the last ten months.

 

Leaders in western Iowa say lingering floodwaters and damage from last year's Missouri River flooding has led them to again cancel Loessfest. The Council Bluffs City Council said Friday in a news release that restoration work on Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park, where the festival is held right across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska, can't begin until after the spring thaw. The council says there isn't enough time between the thaw and the Memorial Day weekend event to get the work done.

Four states along the Missouri River are joining forces to look for ways to avoid the kind of flooding that caused millions of dollars in damage last year. Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas are pooling their money to pay for half of a $400,000 study with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to measure how much water flows down the Missouri River. State officials hope to present a united front to federal officials to gain more influence over how the river is managed after devastating floods in 2011 and 2019.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has proposed nearly $60 million in state assistance to help the state recover from last year’s record floods. That proposal includes a surprise $9.2 million boost for a dozen of Nebraska's hardest-hit counties. Ricketts unveiled the plan Wednesday during his annual State of the State address to lawmakers that lavished praise on the citizens and state officials who responded to the disaster. Ricketts says the flood response was “Nebraska's finest hour,” but the disaster put undue pressure on local governments.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doesn't expect to eliminate from its reservoir system all the leftover water from last year's near record runoff that led to massive flooding along the Missouri River. Officials are raising the current releases in expectation of high spring runoff again this year. The Corps' John Remus told the Omaha World-Herald the system needs to make as much space as possible in light of forecasts for warmer than normal weather and higher than normal runoff.

(Brownville, NE)  --  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is announcing a special inspection to be conducted at Nebraska's Cooper Nuclear Power Plant.  The NRC says it will be reviewing the circumstances that contributed to a recent problem with one of the Brownville plant's two service water systems.  According to the federal commission, the Cooper plant was operating at full power on December 6th when the plant operator was unable to establish water flow through a large pipe that discharges water used to cool some of the plant's safety-related equipment.  It was determined that large buildu

Following devastating floods last March, the tiny eastern Nebraska town of Winslow is debating whether to move 100 feet higher to a nearby hilltop or face being washed away in future floods. It’s a choice more riverside communities may face as climate change increases flood risks. Since the creation of a buyout program in 1989, federal and local governments have poured more than $5 billion into buying tens of thousands of properties threatened by persistent flooding to avoid rebuilding.

Dozens of people who helped respond to the 2019 Nebraska floods are getting honored for work saving lives and rescuing stranded neighbors. Gov. Pete Ricketts and first lady Susanne Shore presented awards Tuesday to individuals and groups that contributed to the effort. Special accolades went to James Wilke, a Columbus farmer who died trying to save a stranded motorist from floodwaters, the Nebraska National Guard, and a group of firefighters and volunteers whose air boat capsized as they worked to rescue a family from their home.

Hundreds of containers — many carrying hazardous materials — have floated into Missouri since flooding in the upper Missouri River basin during the spring.

Floodwaters Recede At NP Dodge

Nov 6, 2019

The floodwaters are receding at NP Dodge Park in Omaha.  For the first time in eight months, water levels are low enough for boaters to assess the damage at the NP Dodge Marina.  Omaha Parks and Recreation officials say the river near the marina will need to be dredged, the boat slips will need to be cleaned and damage costs have yet to be determined.

 

Flood Victims Get Day At Zoo

Nov 4, 2019

Families impacted by flooding are treated to a day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha.  The United Way of the Midlands, Kellogg Company Fund and online wholesaler Boxed teamed up to stage the free event.  Nearly 15-hundred flood victims took part in the free day at the zoo which featured animal exhibits, refreshments and free giveaways.  Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley spoke at the event about the state's latest flood recovery efforts.

 

Flood Cleanup Could Be Costly

Oct 31, 2019

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Flood cleanup in Nebraska could be costly.  The Nebraska Military Department has requested nearly 50-million-dollars to pay for the state's costs for recovering after the spring floods.  The agency also asked for three-million-dollars to put in the governor's emergency fund.  Nebraska Emergency Management Agency officials say total damage to the state's infrastructure following the flooding could reach 400-million dollars.

 

Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Flooding along the Missouri River has stretched on for seven months in places and could endure through the winter, leaving some Upper Midwest farmland and possibly some homes encased in ice. There are several reasons for the flooding, including high levels along the river, saturated ground and broken levees. And with forecasters predicting a wetter-than-normal winter, it’s possible flooding could continue in some places all the way until spring, when the normal flood season begins. “There’s no end in sight.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The lower Missouri River will remain high into December because of the large amount of water being released from dams into the river.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the amount of water being released from the Gavins Point dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border will remain at a level more than twice what is typical for this time of year — 80,000 cubic feet per second — into mid-December.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — After an unusually rainy September in the region, the amount of water flowing down the lower Missouri River this year is likely to match the 2011 record.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it now expects 61 million acre feet of water to flow down the Missouri River this year. That would equal the record set during the prolonged 2011 flooding.

So the Corps will continue releasing massive amounts of water from the dams along the river.

Volunteers Gather In Pacific Junction

Sep 30, 2019

(Pacific Junction, IA)  --  Volunteers are continuing to clean up flood damage in Pacific Junction.  Groups of volunteers gathered in the town on Saturday to clean up more than 40 properties damaged by flooding of the Missouri River this year.  Some clean-up crews helped pull weeds from overgrown yards, while others installed insulation in homes. 

Part Of I-29 Now Closed Due To Flooding

Sep 20, 2019

(Council Bluffs, IA)  --  Flooding has closed part of Interstate 29 in western Iowa.  The closure in both directions is between Exit 61 near Crescent to Exit 71 at the Interstate 680 interchange at Loveland.  It comes as WOWT-TV reports a third levee was breached.

Part Of I-29 Could Close Today Due To Flooding

Sep 18, 2019

(Council Bluffs, IA)  --  Part of Interstate 29 in western Iowa could close once again today.  The Iowa Department of Transportation says the closure could happen by this afternoon's commute near the Honey Creek area north of Council Bluffs.  Water is expected to come over the road as area rivers swell.  The D-O-T is asking people to visit 511 I-A dot org for the latest information.

Western Iowans Bracing For More Flooding

Sep 17, 2019

(Council Bluffs, IA)  --  People in western Iowa are bracing for more flooding with the Missouri River on the rise.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is slowing water release at a dam upstream in hopes it will prevent some of the worst flooding from Sioux City to Council Bluffs.  The river's expected to rise about five feet and crest at over 30 feet early this weekend.  Flood warnings are in effect all along Iowa's western border.

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