March 16, 2019– Mary Greeley News – Airmen at Offutt Air Force Base filled 30,000 sandbags Friday and Saturday, and officials requested 30,000 more on Saturday afternoon, in a last-ditch effort to block flood waters that are covering much of the southeastern part of the base.
An aerial photo, posted by 55th Wing Commander Col. Michael Manion on his Facebook page, showed the Missouri River had crept up to the southeast end of Offutt’s single runway. A lake, campground, and baseball fields were under water, and several buildings south of the runway are surrounded.
— Michael Blankley (@HardHatMike) March 17, 2019
“Water is entering from the river and through the storm drains,” Manion wrote in the post Saturday afternoon. “Several buildings including the (55th) Wing Building are inundated with water. We continue to work as rapidly as possible to improve water defenses around critical infrastructure.”
Photos showed water had reached the hangar that houses the 595th Command and Control Group, which operates the Air Force’s fleet of four E-4B Nightwatch airborne command posts jets.
The Air Force flew in a 740-foot length of Aqua Dam barriers from Louisiana to deploy around the hangar, said Larry Campisi, president of Gulf Coast Aqua Dams.
Manion said power to the base has not been interrupted.
The water was expected to crest near the base late Saturday, Manion said.
Salvation Army’s Gene Eppley camp is ‘total loss’ after flooding
The Salvation Army’s Gene Eppley Camp, which is just south of Omaha near U.S. Highway 75, looks to be a total loss after the nearby Platte River flooded.
The camp sits on the north bank of the Platte between Bellevue and Plattsmouth. It was inundated by floodwaters on Saturday, a Salvation Army spokesman said.
“Water levels have reached all the way up to the roofs of the cabins and other buildings,” said Todd Andrews, the spokesman.
An initial survey of the property indicates the Eppley camp, which sits on 118 acres, is a “total loss,” the Salvation Army said.
Some 3,400 people were scheduled to use the camp this year, which for decades has been a year-round camp.
The Salvation Army said it is looking for volunteers to assist with flood-relief efforts. To volunteer, people can call 402-989-6050. People also can donate by going to a special website set up for flood disaster relief.
Evacuation orders issued for Saunders County communities
The Saunders County, Nebraska, Sheriff’s Office announced an emergency evacuation order Saturday evening.
The county’s emergency management agency said the following communities must evacuate due to an “imminent levee failure” along the Platte River:
Thomas Lakes, Lake Allure, Big Sandy, Sandy Pointe, and Wann
The Sheriff’s Office said emergency personnel were facilitating the evacuation. The Ashland Fire Department said in a tweet to “get out NOW!”
U.P. evacuating people from Waterloo and Valley using its rail lines
On Saturday afternoon, Union Pacific began to transport people who were evacuating the flooded Waterloo and Valley areas to the safety of Elkhorn.
Evacuees were being transported by so-called high-rail vehicles along U.P.’s rail lines. They were being taken to Elkhorn Middle School.
Douglas County, the city of Omaha and other government agencies working under the area’s Unified Command for emergencies were working with Union Pacific to arrange the evacuation, according to a county spokeswoman.
At the school, kennels and pet food will be available from the Nebraska Humane Society, as will services from the American Red Cross. Medical and behavioral health professionals also have been requested, the county said. The Omaha Police Department will provide security.
Nebraska nuclear power plant along Missouri River continues operating
The Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville, Nebraska, along the Missouri River still is operating at 100 percent on Saturday evening, the Nebraska Public Power District said.
The plant continues to operate under a “Notice of Unusual Event” with its federal regulator as the Missouri River is elevated, though water levels near the plant have been going down, NPPD said.
“Water levels in the river have had no impact on operations and there is no indication of leakage at the facility,” the power district said.
credit: in part with https://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/live-updates-offutt-in-all-out-push-to-keep-water/article_9064ec14-abf4-5d1a-b872-b1ad719a4f2c.html