When the residents of Riverfront Place townhomes and condos look out their windows, they enjoy a picturesque view of the mighty Missouri River.
But now, there's a chance — city officials say it's a slight chance — that the Big Muddy could force people out of their homes. They're ready, if it comes to that.
“We don't have a wall of sand around us,” said Liz Ogborn, Riverfront Properties' general manager. “If we're told to evacuate, we'll have to leave along with everyone else.”
People living in far northeastern Omaha and the riverfront area near downtown were advised Thursday that they should be prepared to evacuate in the event of a major levee break.
The Omaha area is under a flood warning, and 10,697 residents could be asked to evacuate if conditions warrant, according to information provided by the city Thursday.
Of those people, 2,700 are Omahans; the rest are Carter Lake residents.
Council Bluffs also has its own plan in place to evacuate up to 30,000 people from homes and businesses in the western portion of the city if the levees along the river don't hold.
Omaha's evacuation area is made up of 5,664 buildings, which includes houses, businesses, industrial buildings and other property.
Eppley Airfield is included in the evacuation area, as is the Qwest Center Omaha.
TD Ameritrade Park and the Hilton Omaha are not.
“This is the worst-case scenario, in the event of a catastrophic levee break,” said Omaha Assistant Fire Chief Dan Stolinski.
Officials from the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority, which runs the new ballpark, said Thursday that standing water that had gathered in the stadium's Lot D had been pumped out.
The backup was caused by leaky joints between the manhole cover and the sewer line, not a cracked sewer line as was initially feared, said Aida Amoura, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Suttle.
She said the problem would be fixed in a couple of days.
The evacuation area is generally east of Florence Boulevard and north of Cass Street.
The Missouri River water level at Omaha is now at 33.33 feet. Flood stage is 29 feet.
If the need for evacuation arises, people will be notified via local media and social media. Fire and police also would drive through the evacuation area making announcements and providing printed materials with additional information.
Omahans who need shelter would be asked to report to Omaha North High School, 4401 N. 36th St.
The high school would not serve as a shelter, however. Transportation to shelters would be provided, if needed.
People with special needs would be advised to call the 211 help line.
Contact the writer: