Omaha Levee Watch Update

By: Lauren Squires Email
By: Lauren Squires Email

The city is happy with how the levees handled this weekend's rainfall. The only problem they had was a breach in sandbags in the MECA parking lot. Currently, if you want to get a good view of the river, the best place might be from Rick's Boatyard Café. In fact, the levees are off limits as crews continue to monitor.

As Jim Carlson walks across the pedestrian bridge with his grandson, he can't help but notice the river.

“Just to see what the river is looking like today. And we know it's been a big concern for the city and the community all around us,” Carlson said.

And it's a concern for the city too. Monday crews lined the levee, doing their routine comprehensive line walk.

“We're actually performing mitigation procedures here. We're filling holes, we're baiting rodent holes, and we’re GPSing problem areas. Anything we can fix with this crew we'll fix in addition to finding them,” Quality Control Manager, Gordon Anderson said.

A twelve member crew lines up shoulder to shoulder to inspect the levees. They’re looking for any disturbance in the vegetation. And after more than six weeks of flooding, officials say burrowing animals are posing a threat.

“We're seeing a great deal of those just because they're getting all the water on both side of the levee it's forcing them up on the dry areas,” Environmental Services Manager Marty Grate said.

And those crews aren’t the only ones patrolling the levees.

“This is not only for protection of the levees and to avoid vandalism but also because it's really not a safe condition out there right now for the public to be on the levee or nearby the levee,” Grate said.

In addition to 24 hour surveillance, security teams ride up and down the levees in gators, looking for unauthorized people trying to sneak a peak.

Which is why Carlson and his family will continue to watch the river from a safe distance.

‘At this point you look and think wow it is really high but reports are saying that it is going down and as time goes on we should see more and more less issues with it,” Carlson said.

Police say anyone who is caught on the levee will be arrested. The ground crews will go out every two weeks to record and repair parts of the levee. The city says once the water levels go down they'll get a better look at damage and begin repair.

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