Omaha's levee system has been fully restored after last year's damaging floods from the Missouri River.
The Army Corps of Engineers did a final check of the repairs done along the city's 14-mile stretch of levee. From erosion to damage of the flood gates, Omaha spent $32 million, two-thirds of which was picked up by insurance.
Mayor Jim Suttle said Friday at Lewis & Clark Landing, never in his wildest dreams did he think we'd be fighting a flood. “We saved, with this team, we saved billions on top of billions in assets from north of the airport to south of where we are standing now. Billions. We kept jobs open and housing safe in Carter Lake.”
The city of Omaha said there was severe erosion along 2/3 of the levee and large drainage and flap gates were damaged along with the flood walls.
Of the $10 million remaining, the mayor expects the federal government (FEMA) and the state (NEMA) to pick up all but $1.6 million.
The city did have to get a different insurance carrier after the claims as the annual premium has gone from $500,000 to $2.3 million. The city used to have Travelers insurance. Now it has a consortium of insurers. Mayor Suttle says the city will re-bid soon to see if taxpayers can get a cheaper premium.
Suttle urged those in the metro to help those on the east coast suffering through the flooding by donating to the Salvation Army and Red Cross.