Rains swamp Omaha pumps: Rain Saturday night fell at a rate of at least 3 inches an hour, so it was a good thing it rained only 20 minutes or so.
Marty Grate of the Omaha Public Works Department said the intense rainfall surpassed the capacity of the city's emergency pumps near CenturyLink Center Omaha.
The pooling rainwater breached the sandbagged barriers around the pumps and flooded one of the center's parking lots and several nearby streets. No damage to the arena, convention center or other infrastructure was reported, he said.
Levee look-see: On Monday, crews began another intense inspection of the levees protecting Omaha, Grate said.
The inspection involves crews of 12 people walking shoulder-to-shoulder along the levee, six on each side of the levee. Workers look for seepage and rodent holes. When those walking the levees spot a rodent hole, another crew following behind fills the hole with clay and tamps it shut, Grate said.
Plowing out flood debris: As early as next week, crews could begin clearing debris from portions of flooded Interstate 29.
Bob Younie, head of maintenance for the Iowa Department of Transportation, said the state will take bids Aug. 17 on debris cleanup from three sections of Interstate: I-29 near the Missouri border; I-29 north of Omaha; and I-680 east of Omaha.
Younie said crews will be able to begin immediately on the southern stretch of I-29 but will have to wait for water levels to drop north of Omaha.
Shoring up Hamburg levee: This weekend's severe storms damaged the temporary levee protecting Hamburg, Iowa, said Kim Thomas, readiness branch chief for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District.
High waves whipped up by the strong winds ripped the plastic and eroded the underlying dirt levee, she said.
The corps and local officials are inspecting the damage to determine the extent of repairs necessary.
More data for record book: On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration noted that the Northern Plains have had their fifth-wettest May through July on record.
Three states farther east saw record precipitation for February through July: Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.
In the Northwest, this May through July was the region's second-coolest on record. And for the state of Washington, it was the coolest on record.
Info packets: Pottawattamie County residents forced from their homes by floodwaters will receive informational packets this week that explain the process for returning to residences after the waters recede.
The Pottawattamie County Board unanimously approved sending packets including information from the board, the Emergency Management Agency, the Sheriff's Office, county planning and the engineer's office.
— World-Herald staff writer Nancy Gaarder and Chad Nation of the World-Herald News Service