Public safety officials are advising residents in the North and South Bottoms neighborhoods to voluntarily evacuate as soon as possible. The affected area is bordered by Folsom, 8th, Van Dorn and Cornhusker. Salt Creek is getting close to topping the levee as other creeks drain into it.
Those evacuating the North and South Bottoms neighborhoods can go to the "F" Street Recreation Center, 1225 F Street. Those now at the Belmont Recreation Center are being moved to "F" Street. The Red Cross is providing service at "F" Street.
Those needing assistance with transportation can call 402-441-5530.
The Salt Creek levee has not been topped. The next 24 hours will be critical. If the creek tops the levee, a mandatory evacuation may be necessary. The Lower Platte South NRD has the major responsibility for monitoring the waterways and levees and is using sand bags at critical locations to reinforce the levee.
In the City limits, the Salt Creek watershed is the main area we are monitoring.
In terms of street closures, right now the main ones are West O from the Harris Overpass to Capital Beach as well as N. 84th. Detours are in place. Many streets in the South Bottoms are impassable right now.
We do not know how many homes and businesses are in the affected area. Public Safety Director Tom Casady said he could determine that if he had some time, but that’s not possible today. They are mainly concerned about the residential areas, not the West Haymarket/Downtown areas in the area shown on the map. Public Safety officials especially urge those with pets, who are on medication, who are elderly or disabled and those who do not have transportation to evacuate as soon as possible.
Public Safety and Emergency Management official say there are no mitigation strategies to pursue that guarantee protection. Evacuation is the best solution for safety.
Do not drive through standing water or around barricades. Turn around, don't drown.
If homeowners have a flooding or sewer back up issue, understand there health risks involved and water damage restoration professionals should be contacted.
City officials plan to update the public on the flooding situation at a news conference at 10 a.m. Friday, May 8 in room 303 at the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th. The news conference will be aired live on 5 CITY-TV. The Salt Creek level is unchanged. Public Safety officials are using some large vehicles with high clearance to evacuate a few dozen residents in the South Bottoms neighborhood who are unable to walk through the flood water.
The City's Theresa Street Wastewater Treatment Facility has reached full capacity and is discharging untreated sewage and rainwater into Salt Creek. Public Works and Utilities officials notified the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality as required. This type of discharge is prohibited, however, local officials can take action like this to protect infrastructure and to prevent further sewage backups. City and State officials strongly advise residents to avoid Salt Creek flood waters for health and safety reasons. For more information, contact Donna Garden, Assistant Director of Public Works and Utilities at 402-430-6449.