OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, continues to support state, local and tribal emergency agencies in their current flood fight efforts. Today, District Commander Col. John Hudson joined Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and other state officials for an aerial tour of the many areas impacted by the current unregulated runoff.
At this time there are several levees in the Omaha District that are either breached or overtopping. Levees 601, just North of Bartlett, Iowa, and Union Dike, located near Valley Nebraska, have both been confirmed breached. We are aware of another five levees that are currently overtopping to include Big Papio left bank, which directly effects one of Omaha’s water treatment plants. The city evacuated the plant for life and safety reasons.
Since Mar. 13, all the releases from the Fort Randall Dam (which is the dam immediately above Gavins Point) have been stopped. This means that all the water in the Missouri River System downstream from Fort Randall is due to widespread rain and snow melt in the lower basin that has resulted in substantial runoff from uncontrolled tributaries.
At the current flow, it will take approximately two to three days for releases from Gavins Point Dam to reach Omaha; three days to Nebraska City, four days to Rulo, and five days to Kansas City, dependent upon inflows and river velocity.
Additionally, the two spillway gates that were partially frozen at Gavins Point Dam have been unfrozen, making all 14 of the spillway gates fully operational.
The Omaha District continues to perform surveillance operations on levees south of Omaha. More than 20 District employees have deployed to work with each of the levee sponsors. We continue to communicate with the levee sponsors to ensure they are apprised of current conditions.
While the overflow of the levees along the Missouri River south of Omaha is currently forecasted, the length of those overflows is unknown at this time. Residents should keep in close contact with their local and state emergency management organizations to stay updated on any evacuation plans and emergency conditions.
USACE continues to coordinate with its many stakeholders to include the Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota Emergency Management Agencies, as well as local emergency management officials through the affected states. Additionally, the Corps has open lines of communication with local and tribal governments in their flood fight efforts. To date, the district has distributed approximately 63,000 bags to mitigate flood conditions.