Flood Update - 2011

Issued September 28, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Almost three months after cresting at 36.73 feet, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth dropped below flood stage earlier this week. On Monday, the river measured 25.98, just below a flood stage of 26 feet. At 6 a.m. today, the river reading at Plattsmouth was 25.37 feet.

As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers slows the release of water from the dams in the Upper Missouri River Basin, water levels at Plattsmouth should continue to decline. Today, the release rate from Gavins Point Dam was 60,000 cubic feet per second (cfs); it will drop by 5,000 cfs every other day until reaching a forecast level of 40,000 cfs on October 6. At their peak earlier this year, releases from Gavins Point Dam were at 160,000 cfs.

Schilling Road, which provides access to the city’s water treatment plant, has emerged from the floodwaters. Operators spent the summer accessing the facility by boat, but are now able to drive to the plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued September 16, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

After holding at 90,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) since August 30, releases from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota will begin declining once again. On Sunday, September 18, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will drop the releases to 85,000 cfs, then continue to drop the releases by 5,000 cfs every other day until a rate of 40,000 cfs is reached around October 6. At their peak earlier this year, releases from Gavins Point were at 160,000 cfs.

The travel time for Missouri River water from Gavins Point Dam to reach Omaha is roughly 3 days.

When the 90,000 cfs release point was reached August 30, the Missouri River level at Plattsmouth was 30.5 feet. At 6 a.m. yesterday, the level was 27.83 feet, and today, the 6 a.m. river level was 27.76 feet. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

Schilling Road, which provides access to the city’s water treatment plant, remains under water. Public Works Director Gary Hellwig said the river needs to drop at least another foot before the road will be open. Until that time, access to the plant will continue to be by boat.

City Administrator Erv Portis said the receding flood waters have revealed damage to utilities in the East Main Street right-of-way. Scouring on the downstream side of the road has exposed a water line, as well as other utilities. Portis said the city is moving ahead with its damage assessment, consulting with engineers to determine the amount of damage and required repairs and with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding cost-sharing and mitigation.

Under orders from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Missouri River from Rulo, Nebraska, to Sioux City, Iowa, remains closed to recreational boating.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued September 2, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Cooler weather and the receding Missouri River have taken some pressure off the Plattsmouth water treatment plant, so the decision has been made to ease the request for voluntary water restrictions.

Public Works Director Gary Hellwig said recent rains and lower temperatures mean demand for water will be less than during the hottest days of summer. Hellwig still urged water customers to use common sense and to not simply waste water.

Lastly, Hellwig thanked everyone for their voluntary conservations efforts and for their patience and understanding during the flood of 2011.

At Plattsmouth, the 6 a.m. Missouri River level was 29.43 feet today, compared to 29.9 feet at the same time yesterday.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

City Administrator's PowerPoint presentation to City Council on July 5, 2011

WTP20110617
Water Treatment Plant, June 17

WWTP20110617
Wastewater Treatment Plant, June 17

NewestWell20110617
Newest Well, June 17

Plattsmouth Flooding Live Cam

flood

Additional information may be available through the following sources:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
National Weather Service, Valley, NE
Nebraska Department of Roads (State and U.S. Highway road closures)
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency
Iowa Department of Transportation (travel conditions)

 

Issued August 31, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

While the flood of 2011 is far from over, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth is creeping back toward its banks. After a record crest of 36.73 feet on June 30, the river has receded to 30.39 feet at 6 a.m. this morning. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

Following extraordinary spring snow melt and heavy rains in the Upper Missouri River Basin, releases from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota reached 160,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) on June 24 and held at that level until July 30, when the releases were reduced to 155,000 cfs. Releases were dropped to 150,000 cfs on August 1 and held there until mid-August, when a 5,000 cfs daily release reduction began. On Tuesday, August 30, releases from Gavins Point Dam reached 90,000 cfs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to hold the releases at this point for approximately two weeks and then resume the reductions until releases reach 40,000 cfs around the end of September.

As of Tuesday, August 30, releases from the Missouri River mainstem dams were: Fort Peck, 25,000 cfs; Garrison, 70,000 cfs, to be reduced to 65,000 cfs Wednesday; Oahe, 80,000 cfs; Big Bend, 80,000 cfs; Fort Randall, 85,000 cfs, to be increased to 87,000 cfs Wednesday; Gavins Point, 90,000 cfs.

Schilling Road, the road to Plattsmouth’s water treatment plant, remains underwater. Access to the facility continues by boat, so the city continues to urge its customers to voluntarily conserve water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 23, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Disaster assistance for homeowners, renters, and business owners affected by flooding May 24 to August 1, 2011, is available, according to the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA). Their flyer describes the four ways to register:

  • Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
  • By smartphone at m.fema.gov
  • By phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
  • TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired

Please have the following information available when you call:

  • A phone number and a reliable alternate in case a call-back is needed
  • Address of the damaged property
  • Social Security number
  • Current mailing address
  • Brief description of damage
  • Insurance information (if you have insurance)
  • Bank account information (If you are eligible for disaster assistance, you may choose to have the assistance check deposited directly into your bank account.)

Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other assistance may come in the form of loans.

The Missouri River gauge at Plattsmouth was not working over the weekend but has been repaired. The 6 a.m. reading today was 33.03 feet.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its customers for voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 19, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Heavy overnight rains brought the Missouri River at Plattsmouth up a half foot. At 6 a.m. today, the river measured 33.58 feet, compared to 33.03 feet at the same time Thursday. Plattsmouth and surrounding areas are under a flash flood watch until 2:30 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service.

On Wednesday, the Fort Randall reservoir pool level reached 1365 feet and officially brought all the Missouri River reservoirs out of the exclusive flood control zone, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers news release. The exclusive flood control zone is the top six percent of storage available in the reservoir system. Total system storage was 66.3 million acre feet (MAF) on Wednesday. The annual pool level of 56.8 MAF needs to be reached before March 1, 2012. That pool level will provide 16.3 MAF of flood control storage for 2012 runoff.

The Corps has also begun significant reductions in releases from the upstream dams this week. The planned release schedule is:

  • Releases from Fort Peck are currently at 25,000 cfs and will stay at that level until the first week of September and then are expected to decrease to 20,000 cfs. Fort Peck is expected to reach a release rate of 9,000 cfs by the end of September.
  • Releases from Garrison are at 85,000 cfs. They are scheduled to begin to decrease next week by 5,000 cfs every day until they reach 30,000 cfs by late September and reach a rate of 25,000 cfs by the end of September.
  • Releases from Oahe and Big Bend Dams are at 130,000 cfs and, beginning today, will decrease by 5,000 cfs a day until reaching 80,000 cfs by the end of August. Releases are expected to be 30,000 cfs by the end of September.
  • Releases from Fort Randall were at 148,000 cfs Wednesday and began decreasing by 4,000 to 5,000 cfs a day yesterday. These releases are expected to reach 87,000 cfs by the end of August and 38,000 cfs by the end of September.
  • Releases from Gavins Point were at 150,000 cfs yesterday and, beginning today, will decrease daily by 5,000 cfs until reaching 90,000 cfs by the end of August. Releases are expected to be 40,000 cfs by the end of September.

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth have dropped from a crest of 36.73 on June 30 to roughly 34 feet at the beginning of August, and, prior to last night’s rain, to around 33 feet this week. It is expected that the release reductions from Gavins Point will help expedite the return to a level below the flood stage of 26 feet, although no date has been forecast for that event. As a general guideline, it takes three to four days for water traveling from Gavins Point to reach Plattsmouth.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its customers for voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 16, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

A petroleum pipeline that runs under the Missouri River from Decatur, Nebraska, to near Onawa, Iowa, has leaked into the waters, said an Iowa Department of Natural Resources official. The pipeline operator, Enterprise Products of Houston, noted a drop in the eight-inch pipeline’s pressure early Saturday and shut it down on both sides of the river.

Enterprise workers with vacuum trucks had recovered about 2,000 gallons of the unrefined natural gasoline as of Monday morning. Any of the fuel that spilled into the river is believed to have dispersed or evaporated and does not appear to pose any health or environmental risk, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The exact point of the break is not known, but it is likely related to erosion from the flooded Missouri River.

The Missouri River at Plattsmouth dropped since yesterday, from 33.35 feet at 6 a.m. Monday to 33.03 feet at 6 a.m. today.

After today, Plattsmouth flood updates will be posted as new information becomes available.

The City of Plattsmouth asks that its water customers continue to voluntarily conserve water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 15, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

From the Corps…

In the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ history of the Missouri River Basin, 2011 will be a new point in terms of both hydrology and flood plain impacts. The Corps says it will review the flooding this year to determine the flood’s effects and learn where improvements or adjustments might be warranted. Whether future studies may lead to changes in the operation of the reservoir system is yet to be determined.

The Corps has not yet conducted any extensive investigations at any of the breached areas of the Missouri River. As the river recedes into its banks, the Corps will be able to complete a more detailed assessment.

According to the Corps, a large part of this assessment will deal with erosion/scour. The process of erosion/scour is a function of water depth, velocity, sediment characteristics and sediment availability. Higher flow velocities, such as those seen in the 2011 flood, create a greater potential for erosion/scour. Areas that have not experienced erosion/scour for a number of years, or areas that have traditionally seen sediment deposits, may have experienced these effects and will need to be checked.

The Missouri River at Plattsmouth rose over the weekend, with a reading of 33.35 feet at 6 a.m. today compared to 33.19 feet at 6 a.m. Friday.

The City of Plattsmouth asks that its water customers continue to voluntarily conserve water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 12, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Scattered rain storms are expected over much of the Missouri River Basin today, bringing some locally heavy precipitation to some areas. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the rains will end tomorrow.

East Main Street, the county road running from Plattsmouth to the Missouri River, is beginning to emerge from the floodwaters. The stretch of the road closest to the city is dry, while the portion of the road east of its intersection with River Road remains submerged. Damage assessment has not begun and East Main Street remains closed to the public.

The Iowa Department of Transportation announced that the approaches to a pair of I-29 main-line bridges south of the Hamburg interchange are being threatened by high-speed water from a June 30 levee breech. Erosion has occurred beneath the roadway, creating an 11-foot deep hole. A portion of the roadway to one of the bridges has collapsed, and it is assumed that the scouring action of the water will attack the second bridge’s approach. Due to moving water in the area, it is unknown if the bridges themselves are threatened. This portion of the Interstate, near the Missouri border, remains closed.

The Missouri River at Plattsmouth climbed a bit over the last 24 hours, with a reading of 33.19 feet at 6 a.m. today compared to 33.12 feet at 6 a.m. yesterday.

Thank you to everyone who is voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 11, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

As local roads slowly emerge from the flooded Missouri River, it’s tempting to assume that they are safe for travel. This is not necessarily the case, and anxious motorists are warned to wait until roads are officially opened before driving on them.

Before a flooded road can safely be reopened to the general public, it must be completely dry, debris must be removed, the driving surface must be cleaned, and the subgrade inspected. Also, signage must be repaired, culverts cleaned and inspected, and the shoulders checked.

“We’re doing pretty good,” said Cass County Road Superintendent Lenny Thorne as he discussed flood damage to local roads. Water is off the northern portion of Beach Road and the county has graded and rocked that portion to provide access from Highway 75 to housing near the Platte River. Other county roads that are still under water include the southern portion of Beach Road, River Road south of Plattsmouth, Rock Bluff Road near Beaver Lake, and 24th Avenue southeast of Union. “We’re expecting damage to River Road,” said Thorne. He said a visual inspection of the road from the Highway 34 toll bridge showed downed trees, and he’s expecting erosion, too. “It’s hard to say until the water gets off the road,” he said.

Thorne said the flooded roads will be inspected as soon as the receding waters allow. “It’s all for safety,” he said.

The Missouri River at Plattsmouth stayed virtually flat over the last 24 hours, with a reading of 33.09 feet at 6 a.m. yesterday to 33.12 feet at 6 a.m. today.

Thank you to everyone who is voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 10, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Thanks to some assistance from Charter Communications, new phone lines have been run to the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant. These new lines add some monitoring and safety features to the facility, according to Plattsmouth Public Works Director Gary Hellwig.

Since its June 30 crest of 36.73 feet, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth has receded over three feet. Flood waters are no longer against the walls of the water treatment plant, said Hellwig, so some sandbag barriers that were directly in front of the building’s doors have been removed and set aside. This will improve access to the facility, but caution regarding the floodwaters continues to be exercised. “We’re leaving the perimeter barriers up,” said Hellwig, “because the river is still high.”

Schilling Road (the road that leads to the water plant) remains under water. Hellwig said, “We’re still getting to the plant by boat. We need the river to drop around another three feet before we can get there by vehicle.”

A 3.4 magnitude earthquake was felt yesterday in the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area of South Dakota. The quake was located two to three miles south of the Oahe Dam and occurred at a depth of 9.7 miles, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Seismic instruments at the dam were not tripped, said the Corps, because the instruments are calibrated to detect movement of the dam itself. An initial inspection of the Oahe Dam showed no damage, and closer inspections are planned. When asked about the integrity of the dam, Eric Stasch of the Corps said, “At this time, we are not concerned at all.” Stasch also said the Oahe Dam is designed to withstand a 5.9 magnitude earthquake.

River readings at Plattsmouth declined from 33.27 feet at 6 a.m. yesterday to 33.09 feet at 6 a.m. today.

Thank you to everyone who is voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 9, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Planned water releases of 150,000 cubic feet per second from Gavins Point Dam will be extended by three days, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These releases were expected to begin declining by 5,000 cfs per day on August 15, but the step-down is now set to start August 18.

“We’re trying to make sure storage stays on track,” said Jody Farhat of the Corps. “We don’t want to get any further behind than we already are.” Farhat said the goal of the Corps’ water evacuation plan developed in July was to get water out of the exclusive flood zones of the upstream reservoirs before fall and winter by hitting monthly water level “targets.” Higher than expected runoff and precipitation in early August drove the decision to extend the higher releases. “At 150,000 cfs, we can evacuate a lot of water in a short amount of time,” said Farhat. She added that three additional days of 150,000 cfs releases evacuates an additional 90,000 acre feet of water.

Once the step-down begins, plans are to drop releases by 5,000 cfs each day until the releases from Gavins Point hit 90,000 cfs. At that point, a two-week pause is scheduled, then releases are planned to be reduced by 5,000 cfs every other day until seasonal release rates are met. Generally, releases from Gavins Point are 40,000 cfs in the fall and 20,000 cfs in winter.

Farhat expected the Missouri River to be mostly in its banks when the 90,000 cfs release target is hit.

River readings at Plattsmouth declined from 33.4 feet at 6 a.m. Monday to 33.27 feet at 6 a.m. today.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 8, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Record runoff in the Missouri River Basin continued in July. July runoff above Sioux City, Iowa, was 10 million acre feet (MAF), making it the wettest July on record and the fifth highest single runoff month the basin has experienced since detailed record-keeping began in 1898.

“This is by far the wettest season and the wettest year the basin has experienced,” said Jody Farhat, Chief of the Water Management Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha. “The good news is we are finally to the point where reservoir outflows are exceeding inflows and we have a strategy in place to evacuate the flood water and prepare the reservoir system for next year.”

The basin has experienced three consecutive months of record runoff above Sioux City since May. June was the highest single month on record with 13.8 MAF of runoff. The previous record monthly runoff was 13.2 MAF in April of 1952. May runoff was 10.5 MAF, the third highest single month since 1898, and July was the fifth highest. “The combined runoff for May through July totaled 34.3 MAF, nearly 40 percent greater than the normal total annual runoff of 24.8 MAF,” said Farhat. “In addition, the three-month runoff volume was greater than the total annual runoff in 102 of the 113 years in the historic record.”

Runoff for the calendar year is projected to reach 61.8 MAF, 249 percent of normal. The previous record of 49 MAF was reached in 1997. Total system storage peaked at 72.8 MAF on July 1. It ended July at 69.6 MAF, down 3.2 MAF. The previous storage record was 72.1 MAF in 1975.

River readings at Plattsmouth declined from 33.63 feet at 6 a.m. Friday to 33.4 feet at 6 a.m. today.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 5, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Last week’s announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of a plan to evacuate waters from the Missouri River Mainstem System is a balancing act between lowering water levels throughout the system while protecting the system’s infrastructure. Too fast a drawdown would mean high waters in the lower system that would threaten levees, cause erosion, and inhibit repairs; too slow would leave water in the upstream reservoirs and reduce the flood storage available for 2012.

Jody Farhat of the Corps added that releases from the dams must be lower during winter months because of ice. "Most flood storage is created before winter," she said.

According to Brigadier General John McMahon, the release schedule does not increase flood control storage beyond established levels prior to the 2012 runoff season. "Increasing flood control storage before March 2012 would mean significantly higher releases for a longer period of time this fall. That would further increase the strain on temporary and permanent levees and other critical infrastructure. It would significantly limit our ability to inspect, assess and repair damages because water would be higher longer. Simply put, providing for more flood control storage would gravely jeopardize the basin’s ability to be ready for the 2012 runoff season."

Speaking of the repairs needed to prepare for next year, General McMahon said, "The majority of the work will have to be done during the harsh winter months. The release schedule puts us in a good position to get water levels low enough to begin those inspections and assessments and put contracts in place to begin work as early as 1 December."

River readings at Plattsmouth declined from 33.73 feet at 6 a.m. yesterday to 33.63 feet at 6 a.m. today.

Thanks to the Plattsmouth water customers for voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 4, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Should the need arise, agreements are now in place between Plattsmouth, Cass County Rural Water District One (CCRWD1), and Beaver Lake to provide Plattsmouth with potable water. Some system improvements are necessary at both CCRWD1 and Beaver Lake for optimal operation of a backfeed to the City, if it becomes necessary. The City of Plattsmouth will bear the expense of those improvements.

The City of Plattsmouth continues to deliver safe, treated water to its customers, but the flooding situation at the city’s water treatment plant creates a concern that a redundant system makes sense. Plattsmouth City Administrator Erv Portis thanked both Beaver Lake and Cass County Rural Water District One for their willingness to help the City of Plattsmouth should there be a failure in its water system.

River readings at Plattsmouth declined from 33.93 feet at 6 a.m. yesterday to 33.73 feet at 6 a.m. today.

The City of Plattsmouth continues to ask its water customers to please voluntarily conserve water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 3, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

While water levels are slowly declining, the Missouri River is still a very dangerous force. As a testament to the power of this flood, Missouri State Trooper Fred Guthrie Jr. and his K9 Reed were apparently swept away by flood waters earlier this week. Trooper Guthrie and his dog were last seen Monday afternoon while working flood duty in the Mound City area of Missouri. Local, state, and federal agencies are involved in a search, which is being hampered by high velocity floodwaters. Citizens are reminded that flooded areas are dangerous and that caution and common sense should be used when in the vicinity of flood waters.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' weather forecast calls for scattered rains over southern Nebraska for the next two days, followed by a generally dry weekend.

River readings at Plattsmouth declined from 34.09 feet at 6 a.m. yesterday to 33.93 feet at 6 a.m. today.

The City of Plattsmouth continues to ask its water customers to please voluntarily conserve water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 2, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Releases from Gavins Point Dam into the swollen Missouri River are now at 150,000 cubic feet per second and will stay at this level for the next two weeks according to Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Around August 15, the Corps plans to begin dropping the releases from Gavins Point by 5,000 cfs daily until a release rate of 90,000 cfs is reached. At that time, a two-week “operational pause” will take place before every-other-day release reductions of 5,000 cfs begin. The objective is to reach a release rate of 40,000 cfs by the end of September, which is slightly higher than the typical fall release rate.

Farhat said, if water is released faster, there is a risk of erosion and overtopping to downstream levees that are already under stress. However, if the release rate is slower, there is a danger that water held in upstream reservoirs will not be evacuated before winter and 2012 flood storage capacity will not be reached.

While river navigation decisions are made by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Corps felt Missouri River navigation could begin again sometime in October or November.

As an example of the damage left behind by the flood of 2011, the Iowa Department of Transportation reported yesterday that sonar had indicated a 40 foot deep hole near a Highway 175 Missouri River bridge abutment.

Readings at the Missouri River gauge at Plattsmouth declined from 34.2 feet at 6 a.m. Monday to 34.09 feet at 6 a.m. today.

The City of Plattsmouth continues to ask its water customers to please voluntarily conserve water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued August 1, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

After 37 days of historic releases from Gavins Point Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decreased the outflow at the dam from 160,000 cubic feet per second to 155,000 cfs on Saturday. A decrease to 150,000 cfs is planned for today, a level expected to be held until mid-August.

"We have a ways to go before we get back to normal release levels, but this decrease is the first step towards cutting releases at all the main stem dams and reservoirs," said Jody Farhat, chief of the Northwestern Division Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. On Friday, the Corps announced a drawdown strategy that projects Gavins Point releases to be at 40,000 cfs by the end of September.

"The water is going to continue to be high for some time and it will take time for the floodplains to drain," said Colonel Robert Ruch, Omaha District commander. Urging vigilance in the continued flood fight, he said, "We are not out of this yet."

Readings at the Missouri River gauge at Plattsmouth went down from 34.58 feet at 6 a.m. Friday to 34.2 feet at 6 a.m. today.

This hot weather is likely to strain the ability of the city’s water plant to produce enough treated water to fill demand, so the City of Plattsmouth continues to ask its water customers to please conserve water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 29, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

After local rains this past week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is forecasting a generally dry weekend. Scattered storms in the Dakotas and Minnesote are called for early next week.

The Missouri River at Plattsmouth remained flat overnight, measuring 34.58 feet at 6 a.m. this morning, compared to 34.56 feet at the same time yesterday.

Beginning today, this flood update will be posted Monday through Friday. Thanks for conserving water.

From the Corps...

The Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System is multiuse and is operated through the difficult challenge of balancing eight diverse congressionally-authorized purposes. Flood Risk management is but one of these mandates which direct that the reservoirs capture spring and summer runoff and allow the Corps to manage releases throughout the year in order to accommodate the other seven authorized purposes: navigation, irrigation, water supply, hydropower, fish and wildlife, recreation, and water quality.

To manage this, the Corps follows the directions of the Missouri River Mainstem System Master Water Control Manual. This Master Manual is a water control plan that guides how much water should be released, when, and for how long from the six reservoirs for the benefit of the entire Missouri River Basin. The Master Manual hydrology (runoff volume, timing, shape of watersheds, and such) is based on over 100 years of historical runoff records (1898-2004).

The Corps revised the Master Manual in 2004 following a 14-year period of public involvement to balance all the competing uses for the Missouri River. Deriving input from residents and farmers who live along the Missouri River, in addition to local, state and federal elected officials, hundreds upon hundreds of alternatives were analyzed and considered during this process. The Corps made every effort to create this document based upon input from all manner of stakeholders throughout the entire basin to optimize the reservoir system to serve all the purposes for which it was authorized and constructed.

Each year, an annual operating plan is developed to make necessary adjustments to the reservoir operations based on current and projected annual conditions, such as: amount of water received the previous year, rainfall events, plains snow pack and mountain snow pack. The annual plan is circulated every fall, and public meetings are held through the Missouri River Basin to gain input from the public and tribes. In addition, the actual operation is reviewed and, if required, adjusted on a daily basis depending on the current and forecast conditions. In light of this flooding, it is important to note that, in 2011, the dams have been operating soley for flood risk reduction.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 28, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Boaters are reminded that the Missouri River from St. Louis, Missouri, to Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota is closed to commercial and recreational navigation. The United States Coast Guard implemented the 734-mile ban when waters began rising during the flood of 2011 and has said it will not be lifted until the flood waters substantially recede. The City of Plattsmouth has permission from the Coast Guard to be on the waters to protect its infrastructure.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Missouri River will likely remain at flood stage until at least October.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River reading was 34.56 feet at 6 a.m. today. At the same time yesterday, the river level was 34.76 feet.

The Corps weather forecast calls for some rain in eastern South Dakota and Nebraska today, followed by a relatively dry weekend.

Thanks to all the Plattsmouth water customers who continue to voluntarily restrict their water usuage during this flood.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 27, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Offering a glimpse of things to come for everyone, the Iowa Department of Transportation has announced rehabilitation plans for its flood-damaged roads. "We’ll explore what’s covered with water as soon as we can, clear debris, then investigate the damage," said an IDOT spokesman. "We’ve also compiled a list of potentially damaged areas; we know we have pavement damaged from the fast water," he added.

While he couldn’t promise, he did hope that Interstate 29 would be re-opened this year. Also, as of today, a U-turn has been added to I-29 in the area of Highway 34. Until today, eastbound and westbound traffic on Highway 34 had to drive south to Bartlett on the interstate and then turn around to avoid construction on the I-29 bridge at Highway 34. The change will shorten the trip by several miles.

At 6 a.m. today, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth measured 34.76 feet, compared to 35.1 feet at the same time yesterday.

The Corps’ weather forecast calls for some spotty rain in Nebraska and into Iowa today and tomorrow, then drier into the weekend.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for their continued voluntary water conservation efforts.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 26, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Rains last week over the Big and Little Sioux Rivers brought the Missouri River at Plattsmouth to a crest of 35.55 feet this past Sunday afternoon, just a tenth of a foot shy of the July 25, 1993 crest of 35.65 feet. At 6 a.m. today the river measured 35.1 feet.

Releases from the six Missouri River dams yesterday were: Ft. Peck, 35,000 cubic feet per second (cfs); Garrison, reduced from 120,000 cfs to 115,000 cfs; Oahe and Big Bend, 140,000 cfs; Ft. Randall, 159,000 cfs; Gavins Point, 160,000 cfs. Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said releases from Gavins Point will be reduced to 155,000 cfs this Friday and to 150,000 cfs on Sunday. A plan to further reduce the releases will be announced later, said Farhat.

The Corps’ weather forecast calls for widespread rains in the Northern Plains for the remainder of the work week and some scattered light rains elsewhere.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for their continued voluntary water conservation efforts.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 25, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has provided some answers to frequently asked questions concerning the Missouri River flood of 2011.

Where is this flooding occurring?
Flooding is along the entire length of the longest river in the United States, the Missouri River, and many of its tributaries throughout Montana, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. At 2,321 miles, the Missouri River's headwaters begin at Three Forks, Montana, and join the Mississippi at St. Louis, Missouri.

When did this inundation begin?
May 23, 2011, is recognized as the day that unparalleled flooding would soon commence.

Why did this come about?
Flooding commenced with unseasonable heavy snows across the Great Plains. This was followed by three to six times the normal rainfall in May in eastern Montana, northern Wyoming, and the western Dakotas. Then the snow pack melt came perhaps two weeks later than usual with an accumulation that was around 23 to 40 percent greater than normal.

The June 2011 runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City was 13.8 million acre feet (MAF), the single highest monthly runoff amount since 1898. May 2011 runoff was 10.5 MAF, the third single highest monthly runoff amount since 1898 and almost one and a half times the previous record May inflow of 7.2 MAF in 1995. Combined runoff in May and June, at 24.3 MAF, was short of the normal annual runoff of 24.8 MAF. The forecast for total annual runoff into the Missouri River basin during 2011 is 57.7 MAF, more than double the normal.

Once again, the Missouri River gauge reading at Plattsmouth is not available. After a weekend rise, the levels of the Missouri River at Plattsmouth are expected to begin receding again.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for voluntarily restricting their water use and helping to conserve materials at the city's water treatment plant.

For more information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 24, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Soldiers from the Nebraska National Guard who have been helping Plattsmouth with its flood fight since June 24 will be leaving town at the end of July. Plattsmouth City Administrator Erv Portis said this action is a state budget issue and should not be perceived as a lessening of the flood threat.

"They’ve been a lot of help," said Plattsmouth Public Works Director Gary Hellwig. "We’ve had some really fast-paced times, and we’ve been glad to have them. They’ll be deeply missed, especially at the current river levels."

Presently, with the help of the National Guard, four licensed water operators are running the city’s water treatment facility on a 24-hour, seven-day basis. Hellwig said these round-the-clock shifts will probably continue until the Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth recede from the current 35 feet to around 30 feet. It will be at that point when the road to the plant will be above water and treatment chemicals can be trucked to the facility.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ forecast calls for generally dry and hot conditions over the central plains for the next five days, with some chances of storms over South Dakota and northern Nebraska around mid-week.

Missouri River gauge readings from the National Weather Service were not available this morning.

The City of Plattsmouth offers its sincere thanks to the soldiers from the Nebraska National Guard. They have done so much to protect the community in its fight against the advancing Missouri River, and their efforts are very much appreciated.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 23, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Technicians from the U.S. Geological Survey checked the Missouri River Gauge at Plattsmouth on Friday. The gauge had been recalibrated Tuesday, July 19, after drifting to lower-than-actual readings. Greg Nalley of the USGS office in Council Bluffs said the equipment is now reading correctly.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River measured 35.18 feet at 6 a.m. yesterday. Today’s 6 a.m. river level is 35.32 feet.

Adjustments were made to the releases at Fr. Randall Dam this week. On Thursday, the releases were increased from 157,000 cubic feet per second to 158,000 cfs and increased on Friday to 159,000 cfs. Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the adjustments were made to balance the reservoir above Ft. Randall with the other system reservoirs.

Rain is expected along the Nebraska/Iowa border today. The Corps forecast also calls for rains in Montana and the Dakotas after the weekend.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for helping with the flood fight by conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 22, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19, the Missouri River level at Plattsmouth jumped over six inches, according to the National Weather Service at Valley. It turns out this was not a surge of water, but rather an adjustment of the gauge that day by its operator, the U.S. Geological Survey. Greg Nalley of the USGS office in Council Bluffs said the gauge had been plotting well for the first part of July, but began "drifting." According to Nalley, readings from the gauge are now correct.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River level was at 35.18 feet at 6 a.m. today, up from the 34.88 feet recorded at 6 a.m. yesterday.

Heavy rains in South Dakota and Iowa earlier this week are expected to cause a rise in Missouri River levels this weekend, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Today’s flood forecast provided by the National Weather service predicts a river level at Plattsmouth of 35.4 feet on Sunday, July 24. The highest level of this event was 36.73 feet at Plattsmouth on June 30. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said yesterday that the Corps hopes to have the bulk of the surplus water stored in the upstream reservoirs gone by December, and, "Hopefully by sometime in October the river will be back in its banks everywhere."

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for helping with the flood fight by conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 21, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Releases from the Missouri River dams remained static yesterday except for Ft. Randall, which saw an increase from 156,000 cubic feet per second to 157,000 cfs, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attempts to lower water levels at the same rate in all six of the Missouri River reservoirs.

The Corps’ upper basin weather forecast is for fairly dry weather up to the weekend, with pockets of rain in Montana and North Dakota.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River level was at 34.88 feet at 6 a.m. today, down slightly from the 34.92 feet recorded at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Several members of U.S. Senator Mike Johanns’ staff, along with owners and investors of Castaway Pointe, visited Plattsmouth yesterday to observe the flooding.

Thanks to the Plattsmouth water customers for helping with the flood fight by conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 20, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Generally dry weather in the Upper Missouri Basin, combined with record releases, has helped bring down the levels of the six upstream Missouri River reservoirs. Since the reservoir levels crested in June, Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the system has dropped one million acre feet of water, and that Oahe Reservoir’s level has declined .6 of a foot since the crest. However, she cautioned, "We’re still in a major flood fight and the releases will be higher than previous records throughout the month of August. We intend to evacuate all the flood waters before the spring run-off."

The Corps’ upper basin weather forecast for the coming days is for generally dry weather with a chance of rain later today in eastern Nebraska.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River level was at 34.92 feet at 6 a.m. today, higher than the 34.53 feet recorded at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Farhat said recent jumps in river elevations are due to tributary run-off from the James and Big Sioux Rivers in South Dakota.

Thanks to the Plattsmouth water customers for helping with the flood fight by conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 19, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Voluntary water conservation measures taken by the city’s water customers are helping to ease the pressure at the city’s water plant. Public Works Director Gary Hellwig said the plant is producing roughly 1.3 million gallons of water each day, a low number considering the current heat wave. "Thanks for conserving," he said, "and please continue." Materials and personnel continue to be transported to the plant by boat, but the newly installed crane at the plant is making it possible to keep the facility stocked with lime for softening water.

Releases from the Upper Missouri River reservoirs are unchanged, said Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She said Gavins Point releases will be reduced from 160,000 cubic feet per second to 155 cfs July 30, then to 150,000 cfs August 1. Plans are to hold that level until August 12 and to have releases at all the system’s dams back to normal levels by October. She added that the Oahe Reservoir level is dropping about a foot a week.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River level was at 34.53 feet at 6 a.m. today, compared to 34.73 feet at 6 a.m. Monday.

Again, thanks to the Plattsmouth water customers for helping with the flood fight by conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 18, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

A high pressure system centered over the plains states means there will be little to no rain over the Missouri River Basin for the next few days. Instead, there will be extremely hot, humid conditions lasting for the next week. Heat indexes of 105 to 115 degrees are likely, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. People who must be outside during the coming days are reminded to take appropriate precautions to avoid heat stroke and dehydration.

At 6 a.m. today, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth measured 34.73 feet, down from Sunday's 6 a.m. reading of 35.03 feet. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet. Releases from the six upstream dams are unchanged.

An inspection of the regulating tunnels at Garrison Dam in North Dakota is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. today and will require releases to be halted for several hours. This is a routine inspection to assess the performance of the tunnel walls after recent, prolonged water releases, said Colonel Bob Ruch of the Corps. The inspection should be completed late this afternoon, at which time the releases will be restored. Releases from Garrison Reservoir were set to be reduced to 120,000 cubic feet per second today.

Plattsmouth water customers are urged to aid in the conservation of materials at the city's water plant by voluntarily limiting their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 17, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

After days of slowly receding, the Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth jumped over the last 24 hours. At 6 a.m. today, the river level was 35.03 feet, compared to 34.58 feet at the same time yesterday.

No precipitation is forecast over the next five days, just heat and humidity. Releases from the six upstream dams remain unchanged. Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the Corps is trying to balance the releases in an effort to drop all the reservoirs at the same rate.

With the hot, humid weather, Plattsmouth reminds its water customers of the challenges of treating water during a flood of this magnitude and asks everyone to cooperate by voluntarily conserving water whenever possible.

So much water in the community is creating a haven for insects. The Sarpy/Cass Department of Health offered some suggestions for minimizing possible mosquito infestations.

  • Eliminate standing water by dumping water from containers, flower pots, discarded tires, unused wading pools, and birdbaths. Mosquitos can breed in any puddle or still water that lasts more than four days.
  • Drill drain holes in the bottoms of outdoor recycling containers.
  • Clean and chlorinate unused swimming pools and clear standing water from swimming pool covers.
  • Clean roof gutters, especially if they contain leaves from nearby trees. Roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitos each season.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.

Plattsmouth thanks it water customers for conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 16, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Scattered showers in the Upper Missouri River Basin will end today and be replaced by hot, dry weather for the next week, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. When asked if the heat would have an impact on flood levels, Jody Farhat of the Corps said, "There will be some evaporation, but it won’t be measurable."

This hot weather is likely to strain the ability of the city’s water plant to produce enough treated water to fill demand, so the City of Plattsmouth continues to ask its water customers to please conserve water.

Readings at the Missouri River gauge at Plattsmouth increased slightly from 34.46 feet at 6 a.m. Friday to 34.58 feet at 6 a.m. today.

With river levels down from the June crest, there is a temptation to assume the worst of the flooding is past. Colonel Bob Ruch of the Corps warns against this mindset. He said, "We want to make sure folks don’t get too happy yet; we need to remain vigilant." Removing or dismantling flood protections should wait until the Corps advises to do so. As an example, the City of Plattsmouth continues to monitor and maintain the sandbag fortifications at its water and wastewater plants. In all, 27,000 sandbags were filled and placed by the city and volunteers to protect against the rising waters, and another 2,000 filled sandbags remain in reserve.

The City of Plattsmouth says thanks for voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 15, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Like the local river levels, reservoir levels are slowly dropping above all six Missouri River Dams, according to Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Releases from the dams remain the same, but Farhat provided the following information about the reservoir pool levels: Ft. Peck is dropping .1 foot a day; Garrison is dropping .1 foot a day; Oahe is in a slow decline; Big Bend has reached its normal operating level; Ft. Randall is slowly declining; Gavins Point has reached its normal operating level. Releases from Gavins Point are expected to be reduced at the end of July.

Readings at the Missouri River gauge at Plattsmouth declined from 34.7 feet at 6 a.m. Thursday to 34.46 feet at 6 a.m. today.

Scattered thunderstorms bearing limited precipitation in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska are forecast to end today, followed by extremely high temperatures over the weekend and into next week. As this will be a hot weekend, the City of Plattsmouth once again asks its water customers to be diligent in their voluntary conservation of water.

Flood waters in an oil field west of Williston, North Dakota, have floated an oil storage tank. The tank is leaking into the waters, but, according to Colonel Bob Ruch of the Corps, the leak was discovered almost immediately and efforts were begun to contain the spill.

The City of Plattsmouth says thanks for voluntarily conserving water.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 14, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Releases from the Missouri River dams continue a gradual decline. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced plans yesterday that included: Ft. Peck, reduce from 45,000 cubic feet per second to 40,000 cfs on Friday; Garrison, reduce from 135,000 cfs to 130,000 cfs today and to 125,000 cfs on Saturday; Oahe and Big Bend, reduce from 145,000 cfs to 140,000 cfs on Saturday; Ft. Randall will hold at 156,000 cfs; Gavins Point will hold at 160,000 cfs.

Jody Farhat of the Corps said, should forecast rains become heavy, these releases could jump back to previous levels. The rains Farhat spoke of are supposed to end today, followed by dry, extremely hot weather for the next several days. Colonel Bob Ruch of the Corps added that rains falling over the tributaries below Gavins Point Dam could put a "pulse" into downstream Missouri River levels, but not a higher sustained crest.

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth are steady, with a 6 a.m. reading today of 34.7 feet, compared to a reading of 34.72 feet at the same time yesterday.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for voluntarily restricting their water usage and asks for their continued support in water conservation.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 13, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

A Nebraska National Guard helicopter delivered a 500-pound crane base to the top of the Plattsmouth Water Plant lime silo yesterday, then city crews installed a davit crane on the frame and added an electric winch. Now, 300 pounds of lime can be lifted to the top of the plant’s lime silo at one time, greatly increasing the speed with which lime can be unloaded from boats at the plant.

Lime is used to soften the city’s water, and at this time the city is using between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds of lime every day to produce 1.25 to 1.3 million gallons of water. "We’re keeping up with demand," said Public Works Director Gary Hellwig, "but the weekends get a bit hard."

Hellwig urged water customers to consider their water usage and conserve wherever possible. Hellwig also thanked the Nebraska National Guard for their continued efforts in the flood fight at Plattsmouth and for putting the crane frame on top of the lime silo yesterday.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River level was at 34.72 feet at 6 a.m. today, compared to 34.79 feet at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

An interesting analogy… According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, "June 2011 runoff into the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City was 13.8 million acre feet, enough water to fill Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, more than 9,700 times, or once every five minutes during the entire month."

Plattsmouth water customers are asked to voluntarily restrict their water use to aid in the conservation of materials at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 12, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

While the dates are subject to change, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced plans to begin reducing the releases from Gavins Point Dam. Current releases of 160,000 cubic feet per second are scheduled to drop to 155,000 cfs on July 29 and to 150,000 cfs on August 1. Jody Farhat of the Corps said any release reduction is good news for people downstream, but suspected that it will be some time before there is a significant decline in the level of the Missouri River. Farhat added that the Missouri River reservoirs are still very high and the entire system is operating at record levels.

Rain, heavy at times, is expected to continue over South Dakota, Nebraska, and into Iowa until Wednesday. The Corps' forecast calls for less chance of rain this weekend.

Iowa Department of Transportation officials announced the Missouri River bridge closures at Nebraska City, Decatur, and the Mormon Bridge at Omaha will be long-term closures. This is to allow for repairs of the bridge approaches once the flood waters recede.

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth were 34.79 feet at 5 a.m. today, down slightly from a reading of 35.03 feet at 6 a.m. yesterday.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for voluntarily restricting their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 11, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Organized rains over much of the Upper Missouri River Basin will be delivering moisture for the first half of this week. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said storms originating out of Colorado and Wyoming will bring .5 to 1.5 inches of precipitation to some areas of the basin.

In hopes of balancing pool levels above the six Missouri River Dams, the Corps continues to adjust release levels: Fort Peck was dropped from 45,000 cubic feet per second to 40,000 cfs on Friday; Garrison will drop from 140,000 cfs to 135,000 cfs tomorrow and to 130,000 cfs on Thursday; Oahe and Big Bend are at 150,000 cfs and both are forecast to drop to 145,000 cfs tomorrow. Gavins Point releases remain at 160,000 cfs.

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth were 34.94 feet at 6 a.m. today, down slightly from a reading of 35.03 feet at the same time yesterday.

For some context of the river levels at Plattsmouth, the following are the dates and levels of past historic high Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth:

June 30, 2011 36.73 feet
July 25, 1993 35.65 feet
June 14, 1984 34.66 feet
June 23, 2010 33.31 feet

April 18, 1952

32.60 feet

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for voluntarily restricting their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 10, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

A cold front moving across Montana and the Dakotas could bring some thunderstorms to the area early this week. Expected rainfall could amount to .5 to 1.5 inches in some areas, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Jodi Farhat of the Corps said the expected precipitation appears to be manageable. For six consecutive days this past week, water releases from dams in the Upper Missouri River Reservoirs exceeded inflows, giving the corps some storage capacity in the reservoirs.

Water is still being released from Gavins Point Dam at the rate of 160,000 cubic feet per second. According to Farhat, during the summer months and the navigation season, releases from Gavins Point are usually at 30 to 40,000 cfs.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River level was at 35.03 feet at 6 a.m. today, compared to 35.15 feet at 6 a.m. Saturday.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is considering closing an additional portion of Interstate 29. At this time, I-29 is closed from the Missouri border to Bartlett. The new closure would extend that to Highway 34. According to Iowa officials, the closure would be for traffic management purposes and would take place at a yet-to-be-determined date.

Plattsmouth water customers are asked to voluntarily restrict their water use to aid in the conservation of materials at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 9, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

In spite of the challenges posed by the current Missouri River flood, the City of Plattsmouth continues to deliver safe drinking water to its customers. Contamination of the city’s water supply is unlikely, as the wellheads and the plant are protected from inundation and the plant is being monitored by certified operators 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The biggest obstacle faced by the city in its efforts to provide safe drinking water is the delivery of lime to the plant. Lime is used to soften the water. In the hot summer months when water usage is high, the water treatment plant can use 3,000 pounds of lime every day. To conserve the lime on hand, the city has cut back on the amount used to process the water. This may result in the water appearing slightly turbid, but it does not affect the safety of the water. The city’s water continues to be filtered, aerated, chlorinated, fluoridated, and softened.

With floodwaters covering Schilling Road (the road to the city’s water plant), bulk lime cannot be delivered by truck and pumped into the lime storage silo. Yesterday, the city began buying bagged lime, hauling it to the plant by boat, then hoisting the 50 pound bags to the top of the silo and filling it manually. This is the reason Plattsmouth continues to urge its customers to voluntarily restrict their water consumption.

Should the city’s water plant fail, Plattsmouth is pursuing arrangements with Cass County Rural Water District One, Beaver Lake, and Sanitary Improvement District Five (Buccaneer Bay) to introduce their water into the city’s system.

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth were 35.15 feet at 6 a.m. today, down slightly from a reading of 35.26 feet at the same time Friday.

The City of Plattsmouth thanks its water customers for voluntarily restricting their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 8, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth were 35.26 feet at 6 a.m. today, down slightly from a reading of 35.38 feet at the same time Thursday. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

A generally dry forecast for the Upper Missouri River Basin continues through today, with spotty rains and possible thunderstorms developing over the Dakotas and Montana this weekend. This storm could move into northern Nebraska by the end of the weekend, bringing light rains totaling .5 to 1 inch, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A routine spillway inspection will take place at Big Bend Dam today. The Corps conducted a similar inspection at Ft. Randall Dam yesterday. The spillway was closed for four hours during the inspection and is now back in operation.

Discharges from the six Upper Missouri River Basin Dams are: Ft. Peck, reducing from 50,000 cfs to 45,000 cfs today; Garrison holding at 140,000 cfs; Oahe holding at 150,000 cfs; Big Bend holding at 150,000; Ft. Randall raised from 150,000 cfs to 156,000 cfs yesterday; Gavins Point holding at 160,000 cfs.

Again, in hopes of conserving materials at the water plant, the city asks its customers to please voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 7, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth were 35.38 feet at 6 a.m. today, down slightly from a reading of 35.53 feet at the same time Wednesday. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet. On June 30, the river gauge at Plattsmouth showed a level of 36.73 feet.

A generally dry forecast for the Upper Missouri River Basin continues today, with spotty rains possible until Friday. A new system could bring light rains to the northern plains over the weekend. Precipitation totals should be minimal, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Discharges from the Ft. Randall Dam in South Dakota will be diverted from its spillway to its regulating tunnels for four hours today to allow for a routine inspection of the 40-acre concrete spillway slab. A similar inspection will take place at Big Bend Dam on Friday. The Corps said these inspections are routine, but are conducted more frequently during high water events.

Discharges from the six Upper Missouri River Basin Dams remain basically the same. Jody Farhat of the Corps said some water storage capacity has been gained in the upstream reservoirs in the last two days and there will be more in a week. Releases from Gavins Point Dam continue at 160,000 cubic feet per second and, according to Farhat, that equals 320,000 acre feet of water per day. These releases are slated to be reduced in August, but Farhat declined to announce a specific date. Colonel Bob Ruch of the Corps added, "This is a long duration flood," and did not offer an end date for the high waters.

Again, in hopes of conserving materials at the water plant, the city asks its customers to please voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 6, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Overnight rains kept Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth about the same as yesterday, with a 6 a.m. reading today of 35.53 feet, compared to a reading of 35.52 feet at the same time Tuesday. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

Limited rains are forecast for the Upper Missouri River Basin today, with spotty rains possible over the next five days. Precipitation totals should be minimal, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Slight adjustments have been made in the upstream Missouri reservoirs, with Gavins Point releases remaining at 160,000 cubic feet per second. Snow pack in the mountains above the Missouri River and North Platte River headwaters is down to 12 percent of its peak accumulation, while snow pack above the South Platte River is at two percent of its peak accumulation.

Plattsmouth officials have been in contact with Rural Water District One, S.I.D. 5 (Buccaneer Bay), and Beaver Lake to discuss water supplies for the community should the Plattsmouth water treatment plant go out of service due to flooding. At this time, the Plattsmouth plant continues to operate properly and is supplying treated water to its customers. City water operators, assisted by troops from the Nebraska National Guard, are monitoring the plant on a 24-hour basis.

Again, in hopes of conserving materials at the water plant, the city asks its customers to please voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 5, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Moderate rains are forecast for Wyoming and South Dakota today before they move into Nebraska tonight and tomorrow. The remainder of the week is expected to be dry throughout the Upper Missouri River Basin. Releases from the six upstream dams remain basically the same as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tries to create storage space in the reservoirs. The lowest dam in the system, Gavins Point, continues to release water at 160,000 cubic feet a second.

With rain in the forecast, the Corps was asked if there would be an adjustment in the releases from the dams. Corps employee Jody Farhat said some precipitation is built into the discharge models and she does not expect to change the releases.

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth dropped overnight, with a 6 a.m. reading today of 35.52 feet, compared to a reading of 35.88 feet at the same time yesterday. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

Again, in hopes of conserving materials at the water plant, the city asks its customers to please voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 4, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

Happy Independence Day, and a big thank you to the National Guard Troops, city employees, and others who are spending the holiday fighting the flood in Plattsmouth.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River level was at 35.88 feet at 6 a.m. today, compared to 36.06 feet at 6 a.m. Sunday. Current releases from the Upper Missouri River Basin dams remain unchanged, with Gavins Point discharging 160,000 cfs.

Floodwaters are slowly receding on the swollen Missouri River, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but still expected to stay high for the next month or two. "I'm still nervous about what a potential storm may bring," said Colonel Bob Ruch of the Corps. Ruch added that, at this time, the Corps is keeping releases at their present levels to increase storage capacity in the upstream reservoirs.

Plattsmouth water customers are asked to voluntarily restrict their water use to aid in the conservation of materials at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 3, 2011
Plattsmouth, NE

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River was at 36.06 feet at 6 a.m. today, compared to 36.44 feet at the same time Saturday. Current releases from the upstream dams remain unchanged.

June 2011 was the highest single month of runoff in the Missouri River Basin since 1898, according to the Corps. June runoff above Sioux City was 13.8 million acre feet (maf). The previous record was 13.2 maf in April 1952. May 2011 runoff into the basin was 10.5 maf, making it the third highest month since 1898. Combined, May and June 2011 runoff totaled 24.3 maf, just short of the normal total annual runoff for the entire basin which is 24.8 maf.

Plattsmouth water customers are asked to voluntarily restrict their water use to aid in the conservation of materials at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 2, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

A storm system has moved through and away from South Dakota, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, meaning the Upper Missouri River Basin will be mainly dry for the next couple of days.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River was at 36.44 feet at 6 a.m. today, compared to 36.57 feet at the same time Friday.

Current releases from the upstream dams include: Fort Peck, 50,000 cfs; Garrison, 145,000 cfs, to be lowered to 140,000 cfs in the near future; Oahe, 150,000; Big Bend, 155,000 cfs, to be lowered to 150,000 cfs today; Ft. Randall, 155,000 cfs, to be increased to 157,000 cfs in the near future; Gavins Point, 160,000 cfs. The Corps notes that these releases may be adjusted as conditions dictate.

Flooding near Percival, Iowa has forced the closure of more of Interstate 29. In Iowa, the Interstate is now closed from Bartlett south to the Missouri border.

Plattsmouth water customers are asked to voluntarily restrict their water use to aid in the conservation of materials at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued July 1, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Plattsmouth’s water treatment plant continues to function properly, but issues related to delivering materials for water treatment to the facility by boat remain. Water customers are reminded of this situation and are urged to restrict their water use. In hopes of conserving the materials on hand, Plattsmouth Public Works Director Gary Hellwig said, "This is going to be a long, hot weekend, and we really need people to cut back on their water usage."

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth dropped slightly overnight, with a 6 a.m. reading today of 36.57 feet, compared to a reading of 36.62 feet at the same time yesterday. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

While releases from the upstream Missouri River dams remain at previous levels, there was an increase in the level of the river yesterday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said this was caused by inflows below Gavins Point Dam from the Big Sioux, Little Sioux, Boyer and Soldier Rivers.

Again, in hopes of conserving materials at the water plant, the city asks its customers to please voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 30, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Missouri River levels at Plattsmouth climbed overnight, with a 6 a.m. reading today of 36.62 feet, compared to a reading of 36.19 feet at the same time yesterday. At 4 a.m. today the river hit 36.73 feet. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, releases from Gavins Point Dam remain at 160,000 cfs. Jody Farhat of the Corps said minor adjustments continue in the other upstream dams to relieve pressure on the system. She said levels at four of the six Missouri River Dams remain at or above their exclusive flood control zones. A generally dry forecast for the next few days is expected to help with these efforts.

Maintenance and reinforcement of flood protection measures continue at the city's water and wastewater treatment plants. City employees and soldiers from the National Guard are on-site and monitoring the facilities 24 hours a day. At this time, three of the city's seven wells have been intentionally taken out of service. The other four have been fortified and continue to operate. The water plant is running and providing aeration, lime softening, filtration, chlorination, and fluoridation to the city’s water.

In hopes of conserving materials at the water plant, the city asks its customers to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 29, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Flood levels at Plattsmouth remain relatively steady, with a 6 a.m. reading today of 36.19 feet, compared to a reading of 36.5 feet at the same time yesterday. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

A dry forecast for the next few days in the Upper Missouri River Basin has the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continuing with its inter-reservoir adjustments. Jody Farhat of the Corps said these adjustments will allow for the storage of upper basin rains and eventually bring the reservoirs to more manageable levels. As of yesterday, the releases from the upstream dams were: Fort Peck, 55,000 cfs, to be adjusted to 50,000 cfs today; Garrison, 145,000 cfs, to be adjusted to 140,000 cfs on Friday; Oahe, 150,000 cfs and to remain at that rate; Big Bend, 155,000 cfs, to be adjusted to 150,000 later; Ft. Randall, 155,000 cfs, to be increased to 157,000 cfs later; Gavins Point, 160,000 cfs and to remain at that level. Farhat added that these releases will be adjusted as conditions warrant.

Dry weather is forecast for the Upper Missouri Basin until Friday, according to the Corps, when a storm bearing moderate to heavy rains will move through Montana and North Dakota. Beyond that, the forecast is for generally dry conditions with below normal precipitation.

While releases from Gavins Point Dam remain at 160,000 cfs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to manipulate the five other dams in the system to avoid increasing downstream flows. According to Jody Farhat of the Corps, the level of the Ft. Randall Reservoir has risen 7.5 feet in the past week.

The good news is that recent rains have stopped and the entire Upper Missouri River Basin should see dry weather for at least the next three days. After that, some light rain may make its way across North Dakota, but nothing like the heavy rains of last week. This will give the Corps a chance to drop the upstream reservoirs from their record or near-record levels, said Farhat.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 28, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

While releases from Gavins Point Dam remain at 160,000 cfs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to manipulate the five other dams in the system to avoid increasing downstream flows. According to Jody Farhat of the Corps, the level of the Ft. Randall Reservoir has risen 7.5 feet in the past week.

The good news is that recent rains have stopped and the entire Upper Missouri River Basin should see dry weather for at least the next three days. After that, some light rain may make its way across North Dakota, but nothing like the heavy rains of last week. This will give the Corps a chance to drop the upstream reservoirs from their record or near-record levels, said Farhat.

Road closures due to flooding in Nebraska stay the same, while Iowa is planning to temporarily close some roads for flood mitigation work. While they are mostly minor roads in the northern part of the state or in the St. Louis area, Missouri reported 120 road closures yesterday.

Missouri River floodwaters at Plattsmouth were at 36.5 feet at 6 a.m. this morning. At 6 a.m. yesterday, the gauge at Plattsmouth read 36.38 feet. Flood stage is 26 feet at Plattsmouth. The Platte River at Louisville was at 6.67 feet at 7 a.m. today and hit 7.52 feet at 7 p.m. yesterday. Flood stage for the Platte River at Louisville is 9 feet.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 27, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Missouri River floodwaters at Plattsmouth were at 36.38 feet at 6 a.m. this morning. At 6 a.m. yesterday, the gauge at Plattsmouth read 36.16 feet. Flood stage is 26 feet at Plattsmouth.

After several days of relatively heavy rain across the entire Upper Missouri River Basin, the National Weather Service at Valley said a relatively dry pattern has moved into the area. While spotty rain is possible, the next few days will provide some needed relief from precipitation.

No significant changes have been made in the releases from the six upstream Missouri River dams, according to Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Inter-reservoir adjustments continue to deal with heavy rains, but releases from Gavins Point Dam remain at 160,000 cfs. The change in the weather forecast was welcome news to Farhat, who said, "We’re one good rain away from increasing releases everywhere, so we’re looking forward to the coming dry weather."

Colonel Ruch of the Corps said some bank stabilization work is taking place below Gavins Point Dam to protect areas from the high water flows. He added that the dam is functioning properly.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 26, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Heavy rains in the Upper Missouri River Basin yesterday again lead to inter-system adjustment of the upstream dams and reservoirs, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Releases from the southernmost dam, Gavins Point, remain at 160,000 cfs.

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River was at 36.22 feet at 7 a.m. today, compared to 36.13 feet at the same time Saturday. At 10:45 a.m. Saturday, the Missouri River gauge at Plattsmouth showed a river level of 36.41 feet, a new high water mark. At 7 a.m. today, the Platte River at Louisville was at 6.19 feet.

Road closures in the area remain the same. Nebraska Department of Roads said heavy rains in the area early Saturday did not impact traffic but the department did lose a couple of electronic message boards to direct lightning hits.

Plattsmouth water customers are asked to voluntarily restrict their water use to aid in the conservation of materials at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 25, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Overnight rains dumped more than an inch of precipitation over parts of eastern Nebraska, prompting flash flood warnings and elevated flood levels. The Missouri River at Plattsmouth was at 36.13 feet this morning, compared to 35.81 feet at the same time yesterday. The National Weather Service says similar rains are forecast over the Dakotas for the next couple of days, then drier weather should follow.

Minor inter-system adjustments to stabilize reservoir levels continue in the releases from the Upper Missouri Basin Dams, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Releases from Gavins Point Dam, the southernmost dam in the system, remain at 160,000 cfs. Regarding the 160,000 cfs releases from Gavins Point, Jody Farhat of the Corps said, "We don't anticipate release changes, but additional heavy rain could increase the releases."

Road closures remain the same, with portions of I-29 in Iowa and Missouri being closed by flooding. While they are mostly local roads, Missouri Department of Transportation reported 45 road closures yesterday. Barb Bennett of Nebraska Department of Roads said flood mitigation efforts continue north and south of Omaha on Highway 75.

Some shoreline protection work is taking place in the reservoir above Gavins Point Dam, prompting questions about the dam's safety. Colonel Bob Ruch of the Corps said recent high water and flows have not affected the dams. "The safety of the dams is not in question," he said.

Nebraska National Guard troops arrived in Plattsmouth yesterday. Their task will be to assist Plattsmouth Public Works crews monitoring and responding to flood waters at the water and wastewater treatment plants.

Plattsmouth water customers are asked to voluntarily restrict their water use to aid in the conservation of materials at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 24, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Missouri River floodwaters at Plattsmouth were at 35.81 feet at 6 a.m. this morning. At 6 a.m. yesterday, the gauge at Plattsmouth read 35.91 feet. Flood stage is 26 feet at Plattsmouth.

Nebraska Department of Roads continues to fortify Highway 75 at Plattsmouth to keep the road open to traffic. Tim Weander of NDOR said, in the event of rain, the barriers constructed to keep the water out could also contain rain water. Should that occur, NDOR is prepared to pump water out of the roadway and re-open the highway as soon as possible.

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency has approved 12 to 14 members of the National Guard to assist Plattsmouth in its flood fighting efforts. The personnel will assist the Plattsmouth Public Works Department in its 24-hour operations at its water treatment and wastewater treatment plants.

The Highway 34 toll bridge at Plattsmouth remains open to Iowa. Bridge Manager Bob Colbert said there is construction at the interchange of Highway 34 and I-29; travelers may take I-29 South to Bartlett, make a U-turn, then take I-29 North to Council Bluffs or to Highway 34 East.

Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said releases from the upstream Missouri River dams should remain at present levels, provided there is not another heavy rain event. She added that some rain is built into the Corps’ water release projections.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 23, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Reinforcement efforts continue at Plattsmouth, with city crews and volunteers fortifying sandbag walls at the water and wastewater treatment plants. Two boats continue to ferry material and equipment to both sites.

The Missouri River at Plattsmouth was at 36.08 feet at 6 a.m. this morning. At 6 a.m. yesterday, the reading was 35.91 feet, and, at noon Wednesday, the river’s level was 36.04 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

Releases at Gavins Point, the last dam in the Upper Missouri River system, were scheduled to be increased from 155,000 cfs to 160,000 today. These higher releases are expected to continue until August.

The City of Plattsmouth, especially its Public Works employees, are sincerely appreciative of all the help sandbagging and securing its water and wastewater treatment plants.

Considering that flooding will continue for at least the next two months, the City Administrator and Mayor requested assistance from the National Guard to maintain 24 hour, 7 day per week surveillance on both plants and to keep flood waters at bay. The request for assistance has been approved; National Guard units will soon be deployed and will work alongside Public Works employees.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 22, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

At Plattsmouth, the Missouri River is holding steady with a 6 a.m. level today of 35.91 feet. Around noon yesterday, the river hit 36.04 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

Portions of South Dakota saw rains of up to six inches on Monday and Tuesday, which caused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to adjust releases in the Upper Missouri River reservoir system. Jody Farhat of the Corps said releases were dropped at Oahe from 160,000 cfs to 150,000 cfs, but are expected to rebound to 160,000 cfs in a couple of days. Releases at Gavins Point, the last dam in the system, will be increased from 150,000 to 155,000 cfs today and to 160,000 tomorrow. These higher releases are expected to continue until August, according to Farhat.

The Nebraska Department of Roads continues efforts north of Plattsmouth to protect Highway 75 from flood waters with the addition of sandbags along Webster Boulevard.

City employees are on 24-hour duty at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant and Waste Water Plant to monitor pumps and sandbag walls.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 21, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Heavy overnight rains and record releases from the upstream dams pushed the Missouri River at Plattsmouth to a 7 a.m. level of 35.86 feet, exceeding the record 1993 crest of 35.7 feet. In the previous 24 hours, the Missouri River rose 16 inches and the Platte River came up two feet.

City crews spent the night reinforcing sandbag structures at the city’s water treatment plant.

Releases at the six Missouri River Dams remain the same. Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said, even with the recent rains, "At this time we see no need to increase the releases."

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 20, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Missouri River flooding in Iowa and Missouri has blocked access from Nebraska to Interstate 29 at three southern points. The roads east of the bridges at Nebraska City, Rulo, and Brownville are closed to I-29 and will likely remain closed for the duration of the flooding, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Releases from the Ft. Peck Dam are scheduled to be cut from 65,000 cfs to 60,000 cfs today. Forecast releases for Monday from the other dams in the Upper Missouri River Basin are: Garrison, 150,000 cfs; Oahe and Big Bend, 160,000 cfs; Ft. Randall, 148,000 cfs; Gavins Point, 150,000 cfs.

Widespread, generally heavy rains are forecast to continue falling in the Upper Missouri River Basin until Wednesday, followed by at least a couple of days of drier conditions.

At 6 a.m. today, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth was at 34.4 feet, according to the National Weather Service at Valley.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 19, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Heavy rains in Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas are forecast for the next five days, with some parts of the Dakotas seeing up to four inches of rain, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Releases from the Oahe and Big Bend Dams were scheduled to increase from 150,000 cfs to 155,000 cfs on Saturday and from 155,000 to 160,000 on Sunday to take advantage of roughly 1 million acre feet of available water storage in the Ft. Randall Reservoir. At Ft. Peck, releases are scheduled to decline from 65,000 cfs to 60,000 on Monday. Garrison, Ft. Randall, and Gavins Point releases remain at 150,000 cfs.

The Missouri at Plattsmouth was at 34.3 feet this morning and was forecast to remain around 34 feet for the next several days.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 18, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Plattsmouth Mayor Paul Lambert toured the flooded areas east of town Friday afternoon. While the situation is serious, he said all measures taken by the city to protect its facilities are holding.

As a note of caution to people visiting the area to observe the flooding, Mayor Lambert added, "There’s a lot of heavy railroad equipment in the area doing track maintenance and we don’t want an accident." Also, commercial and recreational navigation of the high waters is prohibited by the Coast Guard, and the water is contaminated with raw sewage, so wading is discouraged.

The Missouri at Plattsmouth has been holding around the 34 foot level for the last couple of days.

Heavy rains in the upper Missouri River Basin have prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to adjust the releases from the dams on the Oahe Reservoir in South Dakota. Releases from the Oahe and Big Bend Dams will increase from 150,000 cfs to 155,000 cfs today and 160,000 cfs tomorrow to take advantage of some storage space in the reservoir above the Ft. Randall Dam. At this time, the Corps does not plan to increase releases from Gavins Point Dam.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usuage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 17, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

While rains in the upper Missouri River Basin may become heavy and cause localized flash flooding in Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not anticipate adjusting releases from the dams upstream of Plattsmouth. Plans may change in the weeks ahead.

Heavy rains, up to six inches in some spots in the upper basin, are forecast over the next five days. The Corps says it has a lot of rain built into its models and does not believe it will have to increase the current peak release of 150,000 cfs from Gavins Point Dam. However, Brigadier General John McMahon opened Thursday evening’s briefing by saying “I want to emphasize while we are staying at the current release schedule, that could change depending on wet weather.” There is a bit of storage in some of the upstream reservoirs, so, if release changes are required, they will first take place as inter-system adjustments.

When asked again about breeching levees to flood cropland and spare more populated areas, the Corps said there are no plans for such action, nor is there room to do so. According to a Corps spokesperson, “The water at Omaha and Council Bluffs is bluff to bluff.”

At 6 a.m. today, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth was at 34.05 feet, according to the National Weather Service at Valley, and is forecast to hold at that level into next week.

In hopes of conserving resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant, the city is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 16, 2011, 9:30 am
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Wednesday, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth reached 34 feet, eight feet above flood level. According to the National Weather Service at Valley, the river’s present level is forecast to hold until Monday, June 20.

Releases from the six upstream Missouri River dams remain steady, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Winter snow pack in the Rocky Mountains is about half gone and is expected to be completely gone within a couple of weeks. The Corps expects to be able to handle the snow melt and forecast precipitation at the present release rates. However, the Corps cautioned against assuming the Missouri River has passed its peak levels, as tributary runoff and additional precipitation may add to the flows.

Regarding the closure of highways in the region due to flooding, the Corps said it is likely these closures will remain in place as long as the record releases continue from the dams in the Missouri Basin. These releases are expected to continue at their present rates until mid-August.

As a reminder, everyone is asked to voluntarily cut back on their water usage to help conserve resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 15, 2011, 5:00 pm
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Tim Weander, District Engineer for the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) reported the following in regards to U.S. Highway 75. NDOR’s intent is to keep all lanes of U.S. Highway 75 open, except for the head-to-head traffic recently implemented for the U.S. Highway 34 bridge construction underway.

Tomorrow, NDOR will begin sandbagging both sides of U.S. Highway 75 just north of Bay Road, near the weigh station, to protect flood waters from encroaching onto the highway. Sandbagging creates one potential problem which may cause traffic delays. If rain water or seepage from a high water table puddles, NDOR will have to pump that water out. Pumping activity may cause temporary closures. Those closures may be no more than several hours, but could be much longer, depending on how much water must be pumped.

Highway 66 and Highway 50 may be considered as alternate routes for anyone wishing to avoid traffic delays.

 

Issued June 15, 2011, 12:45 pm
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Higher than normal precipitation in the Missouri River basin continues to complicate the flooding situation. Referring to the balancing act of releasing water from the reservoirs to gain storage, then using that storage for rainfall and snowmelt, Jodi Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said, "We’ll be on that razor’s edge all summer."

Upstream snow pack conditions in the Missouri River basin have improved, according to the Corps. Snow pack above the Ft. Peck Dam had been 140 percent of normal and is now at 73 percent of normal. From Ft. Peck to Garrison, snow pack had been 136 percent of normal and is now at 82 percent. The same is true for the North and South Platte Rivers, with the North Platte beginning the season at 156 percent of normal and is now at 60 percent, and the South Platte peaking at 150 percent of normal and is now at 59 percent.

At 7 a.m. this morning, the National Weather Service at Valley reported the Missouri River at Plattsmouth was at 33.83 feet, with flood stage being 26 feet. The National Weather Service forecast shows the river staying generally level to Sunday, June 19.

As a reminder, everyone is asked to voluntarily cut back on their water usage to help conserve resources at the Plattsmouth Water Treatment Plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 14, 2011, 4:30 pm
City of Plattsmouth, NE

Nebraska Department of Roads officials are asking Iowa and Missouri drivers not to use Nebraska Highway 75 as a detour. They are asking them to detour traffic through Kansas then north on Kansas Highway 63 to Nebraska Highway 50. NDOR will also be pointing traffic toward Hwy 50 in Nebraska. Offutt AFB is looking at the possibility of staggering start times to relieve the commuter traffic pressure on Highway 75.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 14, 2011, 12:50 pm
City of Plattsmouth, NE

City staff have had several conversations with Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) related to U.S. Hwy 34 bridge construction and its impact on Hwy 75 traffic, flood preparation, I-29 rerouting onto Hwy 75, potential closure of Hwy 75 due to Platte River flooding, and other issues. NDOR has developed contingency plans for keeping U.S. Highway 75 open if flood waters encroach. NDOR will release those plans if they become necessary.

Anticipating traffic and safety problems, NDOR, Nebraska State Patrol, Sarpy and Cass Sheriff’s departments, and Plattsmouth Police Department are discussing law enforcement on Hwy 75 in their relevant jurisdictions. Anyone using U.S. Hwy 75 between Plattsmouth and Bellevue is encouraged to be patient and vigilant.

We have received questions asking why NDOR cannot delay the construction currently underway on Hwy 75. Contracts for that construction have been awarded with completion dates. Federal funds have been obligated consistent with those completion dates. NDOR endeavors to be flexible, while being cognizant of those deadlines.

 

Issued June 14, 2011, 10:30 am
City of Plattsmouth, NE

According to the National Weather Service at Valley, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth will continue to rise to near 33.3 feet by early Saturday morning, with additional rises possible thereafter. At 6 a.m. Monday, June 13, the Missouri River at Plattsmouth was 32.48 feet, and at 6 a.m. Tuesday, June 14, the river level was 33.06 feet. Flood stage at Plattsmouth is 26 feet.

Water releases at upstream dams continue, with Ft. Randall reaching its anticipated release of 65,000 cfs and the other five dams reaching 150,000 cfs this week. Peak flows are expected to continue until August. Between one and two inches of precipitation is expected this week in the Dakotas, and above normal precipitation is expected over the entire Missouri River Basin for the next two weeks. Snow pack in the Rocky Mountains is diminishing.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin daily reconnaissance flights over the Missouri River Basin today and has teams on the ground in Nebraska monitoring the flooding.

Again, the City of Plattsmouth urges residents to voluntarily cut back on their water usage to help conserve resources at the city’s water plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 13, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the weather situation over the Missouri River Basin will improve a bit over the next couple of weeks. While above normal precipitation is forecast, rain is diminishing in Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. No strong storms are developing, and some dry weather is expected during the coming week.

Minor adjustments were made Friday in the releases from the Ft. Randall Dam. The releases were cut back to compensate for a rise of 1.5 feet in the Gavins Point reservoir over the past week. Peak releases are still on target, with 65,000 cfs expected at Ft. Peck and 150,000 cfs at the other five dams in the system.

Flood waters have broken a main into the wastewater treatment plant. On Friday, June 10, City officials notified the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality that Plattsmouth was preparing to fully bypass wastewater treatment. That action occurred Saturday, June 11th.

As of Monday, June 13th, flood waters are rising. Main Street east of River Road is now flooded and closed.

Again, the City of Plattsmouth urges residents to voluntarily cut back on their water usage to help conserve resources at the city’s water treatment plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 11, 2011
City of Plattsmouth, NE

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the weather situation over the Missouri River Basin will improve a bit over the next couple of weeks. While above normal precipitation is forecast, rain is diminishing in Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. No strong storms are developing, and some dry weather is expected during the coming week.

Minor adjustments were made yesterday in the releases from the Ft. Randall Dam. The releases were cut back to compensate for a rise of 1.5 feet in the Gavins Point reservoir over the past week. Peak releases are still on target, with 60,000 cfs expected at Ft. Peck and 150,000 cfs at the other five dams in the system.

Again, the City of Plattsmouth urges residents to voluntarily cut back on their water usage to help conserve resources at the city’s water plant.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 10, 2011
Contact: Erv Portis, City Administrator
402-296-2522 ext 302
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City of Plattsmouth to begin full wastewater bypass

Due to probable sewer mains broken in Missouri River flooded areas, the City of Plattsmouth wastewater treatment plant began taking silt and apparent river water into the plant. City officials have deemed it prudent to begin full wastewater (sewage) bypass as soon as possible.

The Wastewater Treatment Plant will soon be taken out of service. If necessary, sewage will be pumped from sanitary sewer manholes into Missouri River flood waters.

The plant is not flooded. Precautionary levees built last week will remain in place to prevent flood waters from topping the levee and filling the plant from above.

City representatives have begun contacting property owners in low-lying areas along River Road and Castaway Pointe to take emergency measures to prevent sewage from backing into homes and other property.

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has been notified Plattsmouth is on full wastewater bypass. As a reminder, for health and safety reasons, all persons should avoid contact with any flood water.

 

Issued June 9, 2011, 3:25 pm
City of Plattsmouth, NE

As a response to imminent Missouri River flooding, City officials continue evaluating information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other sources. As of today, both the water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plant are functioning normally. We plan to keep both plants running normally throughout the entire coming Missouri River flooding period. However, we have prepared the contingency plans below in case the situation changes.

All flood waters should be considered dangerous and avoided.

Drinking Water — Current operational and contingency plans include the following:

Current Operational Plan: Keep the water treatment plant operating. Due to the challenges created by carrying supplies by boat and feeding those same supplies/chemicals into the treatment system manually, voluntary water restrictions, such as cessation of lawn-watering, car-washing, etc., are strongly encouraged.

Contingency Plan 1: In the event of major component failure at the Water Treatment Plant, Plattsmouth and Rural Water District #1 have a plan in place. Implementation of that plan would back feed Rural Water to the Plattsmouth system. Water would be safe for drinking, it would be pressurized and sufficient for firefighting. Mandatory restrictions on water usage would be necessary.

Contingency Plan 2: This becomes the worst-case scenario and appears unlikely, but must be considered as a contingency. If, due to some catastrophic event, both Plattsmouth and Rural Water District #1 are unable to supply safe pressurized water, County, State, and Federal emergency management officials would be contacted to arrange delivery of either bottled water or large containers. Delivery and distribution plans will be necessary.

Waste Water — Current operational and contingency plans include the following:

Operational Plan: Keep the wastewater treatment plant operational and supplied to continue sewage treatment and discharge. Plant levees have been sandbagged to a level believed to be sufficient based on current information supplied by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. All equipment, including pumps and fuel, are within the plant.

Contingency Plan: In the event of major component failure due to levee breaches, loss of electrical power, or other failures, pumps will be located in manholes near the lowest points near the east end of Main Street. Those pumps will be sufficient for the pumping of raw sewage and discharge into flood waters.

Plattsmouth is consulting with its state and federal partners in the regulation of clean water, drinking water, and emergency management. Those partners include Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Cass County Emergency Management, Nebraska Emergency Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and others.

 

Issued June 9, 2011, 8:30 am

Nebraska Governor David Heineman, along with Major General Judd Lyons, Adjutant General of the Nebraska National Guard, and Al Berndt, Assistant Director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), visited Plattsmouth yesterday to meet with local and state officials regarding Missouri River flooding. The governor wanted to know our plans and needs, what has been done, and contingency plans should the worst case scenario come to pass. At this time, it is the city’s intent to keep both the water treatment plant and wastewater plant operational. Based on the information in hand and forecasts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others, we believe we can do so.

City officials are conducting worst case scenario planning in the event of major component failure, e.g., loss of electrical power at the well field or either the water or wastewater treatment plants. City, Cass County Emergency Management, and Nebraska Emergency Management officials continue meeting to identify solutions should any of the worst case scenarios come to fruition.

Information regarding the closure of Highway 75 south of the Platte River bridge is uncertain, as water levels in the area continue to fluctuate. Plattsmouth is communicating with the Nebraska Department of Roads to update the public regarding efforts to keep the highway open.

Despite rains in the upper Missouri River Basin and upstream snow melts, releases from the river’s dams continue at previously forecast levels, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Missouri River level is expected to continue rising at Plattsmouth and crest at some point in mid-June. High water levels should be expected through late August, at the earliest.

Businesses in the area of downtown Plattsmouth continue to express concerns over the possibility of sewer back-ups during a high water event. Persons in the area of downtown concerned with this possibility should plug their basement floor drains and any other basement drains with a rubber compression stopper. Property owners in low lying areas may also want to consider removing basement toilets and plugging those drains with a similar device.

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168 ext. 305

 

Issued June 8, 2011

With assistance provided by Senator Pankonin’s staff, Nebraska Game and Parks delivered a 22-foot flat-bottom boat with sufficient horsepower to Plattsmouth yesterday. This boat will be used to move materials, including sandbags, to the water treatment plant and well field.

Public Works crews continue to prepare facilities for flooding, including bracing interior walls of well houses in the city’s well field and moving sandbags to the water treatment plant. An additional 5,000 sandbags have been ordered for emergency placement.

The Army Corps of Engineers has established another Facebook page: Operation Mighty Mo. "Like" the Facebook page to access it.

Rainfall in the upper region of the Missouri River basin continues to be above annual averages, with an additional 1/2 to 1 inch expected through Friday. Rain is also forecast in the southern part of the basin (Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri) for this weekend, with some localized heavy rainfalls expected to be 3 to 5 inches.

Gavins Point Dam releases continue to increase and are expected to reach 150,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) by the middle of next week. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, there is the potential for significant snow melt runoff affecting the Platte River. These flows have been included in projected inundation maps.

Tim Weander, NDOR District Engineer, visited with the City Administrator early Wednesday morning. Based on known data, expected elevation of flood water at the confluence of the Missouri and Platte Rivers is 969 feet above sea level. Based on that elevation, NDOR projects the northbound lanes of the south approach to the Hwy 75 Platte River bridge may be under ½ foot of water. NDOR is researching options to keep U.S. Highway 75 open. All circumstances are subject to change.

 

Issued June 7, 2011

NDOR District Engineer Tim Weander met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers yesterday, and, based on expected Missouri River flood levels, it is now deemed unlikely that U.S. Highway 75 will be flooded and closed. There is still a bit of uncertainty and conditions could change, especially if Platte River levels increase more than expected.

Based on expected release of 150,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) from Gavins Point Dam, anticipated water level at the wastewater treatment plant will be approximately 963.78 feet above sea level. The levee has been sandbagged to approximately 968 feet above sea level. Elevation of flood water on June 6, 2011, was 960.061 feet above sea level.

Based on expected release of 150,000 CFS from Gavins Point Dam, anticipated water level at the water treatment plant will be approximately 966.9 feet above sea level. Elevation of flood water on June 6, 2011, was 960.465 feet above sea level.

Three water wells have been taken out of service by cutting electric power, closing valves, and removing pump motors. The four remaining wells have been sandbagged and reinforced to protect against expected flood waters. Those wells will produce sufficient water to supply the community. Water conservation would be most helpful.

Volunteers: At the present time, additional volunteers are not needed. If, however, an emergency exists, getting volunteers to work quickly may be important. If you wish to be added to a volunteer list, please contact the City Clerk’s office at (402) 296-2522, ext 301. You may need to leave a voice mail message. You may also send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We ask that you provide your name and telephone number. Thank you.

 

Issued June 6, 2011

Plattsmouth will soon be affected by floodwaters along the Missouri River. We are told by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that flood waters will remain high in the Plattsmouth area through at least late August, perhaps into early fall.

City officials are working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and engineers contracted to the City to understand the threat and to respond to that threat. We are also in contact with emergency management officials from Cass County and Nebraska Emergency Management.

Considerable effort has been taken in the last five days to protect public infrastructure, particularly Plattsmouth’s wastewater (sewer) and water treatment plants. Both plants are expected to be completely surrounded by flood waters soon. The City’s goal is to keep both plants operational.

City officials have received numerous questions about the potential risk of flood water contaminating the City water supply. Contamination should not be an issue unless flood waters cause a major component failure.

Restrictions on water usage may be suggested in the near future only because the road to the water treatment plant is currently under water. Without truck access, we are limited in our ability to add lime to the water treatment process. As lime on hand is used up, water hardness will increase and we will experience an iron build-up in treated water. With increased iron build-up, we may be unable to keep up with heavy summer usage. Immediate voluntary reduction of water usage, such as watering lawns and car washing, would be most helpful.

Based on data known today, we do not believe any property west of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks on the east side of Plattsmouth is subject to flooding.

Numerous citizens have called City Hall inquiring about the potential for basement floor drain backup. While we have no reason to believe such a threat currently exists, those who wish to prevent the possibility of basement sewage back up, now or at any time in the future, could install a rubber compression plug that may be purchased at most hardware or plumbing supply stores for less than $10.00, generally.

Additional information may be available through the following sources:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

National Weather Service, Valley, NE

Nebraska Department of Roads (State and U.S. Highway road closures)

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency>

For further information, contact:
Kevin Larson, City of Plattsmouth
402-296-4168, ext. 305