Extra protection: The Army Corps of Engineers has hired a local company to shore up about nine miles of levee surrounding Eppley Airfield and Carter Lake. The corps awarded a $1.4 million contract to Navarro Enterprise Construction Inc. of Omaha to construct a protective barrier on top of the levee. The construction of three segments of a seepage berm — totaling about 3,600 linear feet and ranging from 40 feet to 150 feet wide — should be completed July 15. It will allow excess water to seep through the levee but will hold the levee materials in place. The corps called it “an additional layer of flood risk reduction.”
Thumbs up: U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska on Saturday toured flood prevention efforts along the Missouri River at Omaha and called the work “remarkable.” Mayor Jim Suttle and the Omaha Airport Authority showed Johanns the levee system and newly constructed pump and pipe system, which has been working overtime to protect north downtown and portions of the airport. Johanns said the work was proactive and “truly an engineering feat.” He pledged to push the federal government to reimburse cities affected by Missouri River flooding as soon as possible.
Phase 2: Omaha officials hope to have additional pipes and increased pumping capacity at its station east of the Qwest Center by Friday. Assistant Fire Chief Dan Stolinski said the pump station will be capable of moving 500 million gallons of water daily.
Bridge work: Traffic appeared to be running smoothly Saturday on the Bellevue Bridge near Haworth Park. After closing due to sandbagging operations, both the eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 370 from Interstate 29 to the Missouri River reopened. Floodwaters at Haworth Park had nearly reached the top of the park's basketball hoops.
RUMOR OF THE DAY
Rumor: Businesses in the Old Market's Passageway are packing up and moving out due to flood concerns.
Fact: Several business owners in the Passageway said they were unaware of any flood warnings and had no plans to move.
— World-Herald staff writers Sam Womack and Emily Nohr