Lincoln moves to voluntary water restrictions; Valley starts cleanup

Lincoln moves to voluntary water restrictions; Valley starts cleanup
Ron Eklund looks east at a flooded Main Street on the eastern edge of Plattsmouth on Saturday. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD

Mayor Chris Beutler on Wednesday lifted the mandatory water restrictions imposed Sunday because of flood damage at the city’s water  facilities at the Platte River.

He also urged residents and businesses to continue to voluntarily conserve water as work continues to repair the water infrastructure.

All residents and businesses are asked to reduce water consumption by 25 percent. Car washes will be allowed to reopen at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Beutler said wells in the north wellfields have begun production and capacity has risen from 32 to 40 million gallons per day.

Valley, Waterloo start cleanup with volunteers

Floodwaters have mostly receded in the City of Valley, according to City Councilwoman Cindy Grove, who also heads the Valley Days Foundation. Roads and property are damaged, but hundreds of volunteers are helping out.

Still, she said there’s currently a list of about 50 people who have requested help cleaning up that aren’t able to do it on their own.

“We’re matching up volunteers with people who need help,” she said. “We also have a big group of people who have come up to town and are just going around helping people they see.”

The City of Valley has placed Dumpsters along West Street, Mayne Street, Pine Street, East Street and Sunset Circle and is accepting larger items such as appliances at the city yard at 210 N. Locus St.

“They’re getting full so fast that we can’t keep them empty,” Grove said.

Grove is helping collect supplies at the United Faith Community Church Campus building at 921 S. Mayne St.

Volunteers are compiling pantry boxes, cleaning supply buckets and personal hygiene bundles. Grove said they are still in need of plastic containers, boxes and other moving supplies for those that have to leave home.

Those hoping to volunteer can find more information on the City of Valley’s Facebook page or by emailing cityvalleyne@gmail.com.

“If you’re not coming to volunteer or you don’t live here, keep your traffic in town to a minimum,” Grove asked. “We don’t need all the onlookers.”

In Waterloo, Assistant Fire Chief Travis Harlow said interior drainage has been pumped out and that the levee did not break.

Neighboring communities, including Riverside Lakes, are still trapped, waiting for crews to build a road in and out of the neighborhood.

Many members of the Waterloo community, he said, are helping their neighbors in Valley.

Inspections close Lancaster County roads

After inspection by Lancaster County forces, County Bridge S-179 (Roca Road between S 96th Street and S 110th Street) has been closed pending further investigation.  County Culvert M-38 (W A Street between SW 98th Street and SW 112th Street) has washouts and will be closed until further notice.

The Lancaster County Engineer’s website has a complete listing of roads currently closed in Lancaster County.  For more information, please visit the website at www.lancaster.ne.gov/engineer or call 402-441-7681.

Residents of Sarpy lake communities to be allowed in

Before being allowed into their neighborhoods, one representative from each property in Betty Lake, Chris Lake and Hanson Lakes will be required to check in at the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office, 8335 Platteview Road, officials said Wednesday.

Officials with the Sarpy County Unified Command tentatively plan to begin check-ins at 9 a.m. Friday. That time and date could be postponed if conditions within the neighborhood change. A final determination will be relayed to residents Thursday, officials said.

When checking in, property representatives will need to bring identification with them to show they own the property or are a renter/lessee. They will receive a placard that must be displayed on the outside of their homes.

Once this process is complete, residents can access their properties immediately. Access will be allowed only through the 36th Street and La Platte Road entrance.

People will be allowed to stay in the neighborhood all day, but they can enter only between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Some items can’t go in the landfill

People cleaning up after flooding were reminded Wednesday that certain items can’t go in the landfill.

According to the Douglas County Spring Flood Unified Command, those items include:

• Waste Oil

• Paint in liquid form (dried paint can be accepted)

• Lead-acid batteries

• Household appliances

• Waste tires

• Unregulated hazardous waste

Go to dceservices.org for descriptions of all banned items.

A number of companies in the Omaha metro area will accept such items as lead-acid batteries, household appliances and tires.

Residents of Douglas or Sarpy Counties can use the Under the Sink facility at 120th and I Streets to dispose of waste oil, liquid paint and many other items, officials said.

In Valley, appliances are to be taken to the city yard at 210 N. Locust St. A dumpster will be available there.

The city also is providing dumpsters along the following streets: West Street, Mayne Street, Pine Street, East Street and Sunset Circle.

For more information, contact Mike Burns at mburns@valley.omhcoxmail.com.

In Waterloo, contact Melissa Johnson, the village clerk, at mjohnson@waterloone.com.

In Omaha, contact the City of Omaha Environmental Quality Division at 402-444-3908.

River levels dropping — with some exceptions

Flooded rivers in Nebraska and Iowa continued to fall Wednesday with a couple of notable exceptions, according to information gathered by the National Weather Service.

Flood warnings continue for the Missouri River, the lower Nishnabotna River and the Big Blue River. Flooding along some smaller streams and county roads will continue into Thursday across parts of eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa, the weather service said.

The Missouri River at Omaha had dropped slightly from 33.92 feet at 6 a.m. Tuesday to 33.4 at 5:15 a.m. Wednesday. The river is projected to fall below the 29-foot flood stage by 7 a.m. Sunday, according to the weather service.

Readings for the Nishnabotna River at Hamburg, Iowa, and the Missouri River at Rulo, Nebraska, remain high. The depth of the Nishnabotna River, a tributary of the Missouri River, was 26.1 feet at 6 a.m., down just a bit from the 26.81 the previous day.

At Rulo, the Missouri River depth was 27.3 feet at 6 a.m., about 10 feet over flood stage. The river is expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the month, according to weather service projections.

The biggest declines continue to be on the Elkhorn River near Waterloo, where at the weather service measured 10.3 feet at 5:15 a.m. The river depth Tuesday had been just above the flood stage of 14 on Tuesday.

The Platte River at Ashland also clocked in below flood stage. A river gauge read 19.2 feet at 6 a.m., just below the 20-foot flood stage for that location.

Anheuser-Busch sends canned water to flood-stricken Nebraska communities

Beer giant Anheuser-Busch is sending more than 100,000 cans of emergency drinking water to Nebraska communities affected by the historic flooding.

Two truckloads of the canned water will be sent from the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado to Eagle Distributing in Fremont. The distributor will work with Omaha’s Quality Brands to hand out the water to families in need.

Partnering with the American Red Cross, the brewery periodically pauses beer production at two of its facilities throughout the year to can drinking water which will be ready to distribute to communities in times of disaster.

NFL Huskers Spencer Long, Jeremiah Sirles will host dinner for flood victims, first responders

Former Nebraska offensive linemen Spencer Long and Jeremiah Sirles are among those hosting a Thursday evening dinner in Schuyler for victims of statewide floods, first responders and volunteers.

Long, who grew up in Elkhorn — which has been affected by the flood — posted an invitation to the dinner on his Twitter account Tuesday. In a subsequent tweet, he wrote that “opportunities for donations may follow.”

“Family, friends and neighbors have had their land, livestock, barns and homes ruined,” Long wrote. “One positive thing that’s came out of it, something that has given me a major sense of pride, is how everyone has come together and put others first before themselves in order to lessen the burden of this disaster on those affected.”

Long and Sirles teamed up with Sirles’ wife, Emma, and another family, Whitetails Unlimited and the Colfax County attorney’s office for the dinner. It’ll be held at the Oak Ballroom in Schuyler from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Highway 75 reopens north of Plattsmouth

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