Watching the Water: Floods of 2011

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June 12, 2011 - 7:00pm








Matt Miller, Omaha World-Herald

A litany of recent disasters the Joplin, Mo., tornado, wildfires in the Southwest, drought in Texas and, most recently, Hurricane Irene have frozen some assistance for flooded communities on the Missouri River.


FEMA freeze taken in stride

August 30, 2011
Omaha World-Herald
Washington - In the wake of Hurricane Irene's battering of the East Coast, the federal government has frozen certain types of assistance for other disaster-stricken parts of the country, including flood-drenched communities along the Missouri River.


Iowa and Nebraska state officials downplayed the impact of the freeze.


Al Berndt, assistant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, pointed out that it does not apply to individual assistance payments, which cover needs such as temporary housing. It also does not apply to immediate public projects such as debris removal and emergency protective measures sandbagging, emergency levee repairs and so forth.





Kyle Benecke, Omaha World-Herald

Broken chunks of concrete are exposed after Missouri river waters receded from this summer's flooding. This photo is looking East on 680 near Crecent, Iowa.


Photo slideshow of damage done to I-680

August 30, 2011
Omaha World-Herald






FEMA opens flood recovery centers

August 29, 2011
NET News
Lincoln, Neb. - As floodwaters recede on the Missouri River, discussion is underway about how to prevent a similar flood in the future. Meanwhile, Nebraskans along the river are trying to recover.





Matt Miller, Omaha World-Herald

Mike Redding looks at the damage in his neighborhood near 36th Street and G Avenue. Residents in west Council Bluffs deal with flood waters after an overnight thunderstorm left water over roads and in homes on August 22, 2011.


Relief from flood coming

August 30, 2011
Omaha World-Herald
Omaha, Neb. - The Missouri River has dropped low enough for beleaguered Council Bluffs to relax some of its flood-related emergency measures.

On Tuesday, the Bluffs ended its Alert 1 status and the Iowa National Guard ended its patrols of the city's levees. Bluffs officials also said they would reopen their side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and some riverside trails Saturday.

The bridge reopens at 7 a.m.



"Things seem to be headed in the right direction," said Don Gross, a city spokesman.





US Army Corps of Engineers - Omaha District


Flood victims offer tearful thanks

August 29, 2011
Omaha World-Herald
Blair, Neb. - Sometimes the only way to say thank you is with tears.


Barb Reynolds' emotions got the best of her as she struggled to say thank you to all the people who helped her after she fled Missouri River flooding in June. Finally, Reynolds simply turned, placed her head on the shoulder of her new friend, Harriet Waite, and wept.


"They've been so good to us," Reynolds said later. "Everything was great. I will miss them so much."


Reynolds was among the last few evacuees living in Holling Hall on the campus of the former Dana College here. The dormitory home to nearly 180 flood evacuees since June 11 will close Wednesday.





US Army Corps of Engineers - Omaha District


Spring 2011 Flood Response Information

July 29, 2011
US Army Corps of Engineers - Omaha District
Omaha, Neb. - Click here for several documents and charts about the Corps' strategy for evacuating floodwaters.





North Platte Telegraph

While residents on the north side of North Platte probably won't have to worry about sand bags the rest of this summer, the North Platte River will remain above flood stage for some time.


Danger has passed, but water's still high

July 28, 2011
Andrew Bottrell, North Platte Telegraph
North Platte, Neb. - This spring and summer, North Platte has dealt with extreme conditions - from record floodwaters to triple-digit temperatures. While the worst of the flooding appears to have passed, releases from a full Lake McConaughy will keep waters above flood stage for some time.






Corps offers ways to ease flooding in Schuyler

July 29, 2011
Associated Press
Schuyler, Neb. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has devised a plan to deal with future flooding in Schuyler. The town has sustained flood damage in recent years from overflow from Shell Creek and the Platte River.


The corps recommends in its report that there should be channel shaping and the construction of 5.6 miles of levees to protect the city from a 100-year flood. The proposal is expected to save Schuyler about $1.9 million a year in flood damage.


The corps is taking public comment on the report. Public hearings will be Aug. 16 in Schuyler, and written comments will be taken Aug. 1-30. A copy of the report and details about submitting public comments is available online at http://bit.ly/p8mGt6.






Flood relief a month away

July 29, 2011
Nancy Gaardner, Omaha World-Herald
Omaha, Neb. - Local officials say they are about a month away from feeling more comfortable with the flooded Missouri River now that they know the schedule for cutting releases from upstream reservoirs.


The river is expected to drop below flood stage at Omaha by mid-to-late September, according to Friday's long-awaited announcement by the Army Corps of Engineers. But metro officials say conditions should begin improving much sooner.





Denton Cushing, Grand Island Independent

Minor flooding near the intersection of Koenig Street and Broadwell Avenue in Grand Island.


Road and bridge closures detour Nebraska drivers

July 26, 2011
Jonathan Ash, NET News
Lincoln, Neb. - Nebraska's most recent bout with flooding continues to create changes in routines for many in the state including those who work and travel on Nebraska roads. It began in May when the Missouri and Platte Rivers began swelling from snowmelt. Within a month a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 29 was closed from Highway 2 south to Rock Port, Missouri.





Denton Cushing, Grand Island Independent

Minor flooding near the intersection of Koenig Street and Broadwell Avenue in Grand Island.


Rain brings minor flooding

July 22, 2011
Denton Cushing, Grand Island Independent
Grand Island, Neb. - Rain that swept through the area last night left parts of Central Nebraska in a flood advisory.

According to the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nance County, northern Howard County and southeastern Greeley County are in a flood advisory until noon today.

As of 5:45 a.m., Doppler radar indicated that storms dropped an estimated 2 to 4 inches of rain throughout the advisory area.





Matt Miller, Omaha World-Herald

The overfull Missouri River flows between Omaha and Council Bluffs on July 15.


Below flood stage in September?

July 22, 2011
Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald
The Missouri River at Omaha could be below flood stage in September, said Jody Farhat of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Decisions soon to be made will determine whether that happens, she said. Farhat manages the water release rate from the six dams on the upper Missouri.


Corps officials are reviewing eight to 10 scenarios for reducing the record amounts of water now being released from upstream dams. The agency plans to announce by early August when, and by how much, it intends to lower those releases, Farhat said.


Erik Blechinger, a spokesman for the corps, said the agency is weighing competing needs.






Heineman to meet with six area governors about Missouri River flood management

July 22, 2011
Press release
Lincoln, Neb.
- Gov. Dave Heineman today announced plans to meet with Governors and representatives for at least six states who represent states impacted by the recent flooding of the Missouri River.


Heineman will be joined by Governors Terry Branstad (Iowa), Sam Brownback (Kan.), Jack Dalrymple (N.D.), Dennis Daugaard (S.D.), and a representative for Matt Mead (Wyo.) to discuss flood control issues. Governors Jay Nixon (Mo.) and Brian Schweitzer (Mont.) are also invited.


Additionally, Heineman plans to invite officials from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to the meeting, which will be held in Omaha on Aug. 19.


Details to follow at a later date.





Flood coverage, continued

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Photo courtesy of Bryce Kintigh

5 miles south of Elm Creek, just east of Hwy 183, on June 20, 2011. More photos here.







MULTIMEDIA

1952 Missouri River flood: A look back

NET News

Nebraska never had a disaster like it. And almost 60 years later, no other emergency has matched the Missouri River flood of 1952. Other floods claimed more lives, but the devastation brought by the swollen Missouri that year was staggering. Even after all these years, an amazing effort to save Omaha from the flood still astonishes those who watched it unfold.







Tornadoes roar across Nebraska

June 20, 2011
The Weather Channel

Storm chaser Brandon Ivey caught multiple tornadoes across south-central Nebraska during Monday's severe weather outbreak.







Updated photos from the U.S. Army Corps - Omaha District

Photo courtesy of the Missouri River Joint Information Center

June 16, 2011




Missouri River flyover, June 14

Pilot Barry Lowthorp of Shenandoah, Iowa filmed this footage while flying over the Missouri River near Hamburg, Iowa on June 14, 2011.




Corps and community fight for Hamburg
Video from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District about their efforts to bolder the defenses of Hamburg, Iowa, in conjunction with the Iowa National Guard and state and local entities.




Aerial photos of Missouri River flooding


Courtesy of Larry and Diane Geiger
June 11 and 12, 2011
OMAHA, NEB. - The Geigers collected these photos of the spreading river while flying their RV-12 home-built kit aircraft. Click here for a larger version of the slideshow.

You can see more of their photos here.








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