Once again there is water, water everywhere in downtown Omaha. Another storm hit the Omaha-metro area overnight dumping up to seven inches of rain in some parts of the city. Omaha Assistant Fire Chief Dan Stolinski says up to four feet of water covered low-lying streets. One fire truck was damaged while responding to a call when water pressure popped up a manhole cover. It hit the undercarriage of the truck causing significant damage.
Stolinski says they also responded to a water rescue call at Sygenta by the river front. He says Sygenta was looking at evacuating their facility but they followed their own evacuation plan. Omaha Fire had several rigs down there even though the water response was eventually cancelled.
Omaha Public Works spokesman Marty Grate compares Omaha to a plugged bathtub. You can pour water in and the only way to remove it is to bail it out. He is hopeful to have areas north of the Century Link Center (Qwest Center) downtown cleared of water by Monday afternoon. He says areas to the south will probably take days of dry weather and pumping to clear out. Of the 95 pumps the city is operating Grate says several are out of service due to the heavy rain. Many of Omaha’s sewage lift stations were damaged and they will have to be drained and then the electrical work repaired.
Omaha Parks and Recreation Director Melinda Pearson says this rain put a stop to the clean-up efforts in place after last Thursday’s storm. They closed the boat ramps at Carter Lake and clean-up work is on hold until the ground is dry. She says it will take many weeks to clean up the amount of debris left after horrific storms Thursday and overnight Monday.