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Plattsmouth’s water plant is fully functional again, but only one of the city’s wells is operational.

A major milestone was reached Tuesday in Plattsmouth’s recovery from Nebraska’s costliest disaster on record.

Plattsmouth’s water plant, which supplies drinking water to about 7,000 people, resumed full operation, according to Erv Portis, city administrator.

That doesn’t mean the city’s battered water system is fully operational — only one of its five wells is functioning, he said.

But having the water plant fully functional is a huge relief, Portis said.

“People can return to relatively normal water usage,” he said. “We’ve certainly been concerned about drawing down our water system if we had a fire — we’re a lot less concerned about that now.”

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On March 14, historic flooding inundated the land where the water plant and wells are located.

Flooding didn’t subside enough for the city to begin work on the plant until June and since then, crews have been working nearly 24/7 to bring the plant back online, Portis said.

“We’ve gotten all this done in three months, that’s a herculean effort,” Portis said.

Restoration of the plant means the city can pump about 1.5 million gallons a day, up from the 700,000 to 800,000 gallons before it was restored, he said.

“That’s a lot closer to normal usage for this time of year, but it’s not perfect,” he said. Before the flood, the plant had a capacity of 3 million, but the most the city has ever needed during drought was about 2.2 million gallons a day.

“We will never be back at this plant the way we were before,” he said.

The city hopes to get at least two more wells operational while working with state and federal officials on a long-term solution, he said.