Omaha to discuss $600,000 bid to repair remaining flood damage at Freedom Park

Omaha's Freedom Park sustained heavy damage in the 2019 Missouri River flood. Now, the city has a grant on the table to aid in restoration.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 6:39 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Damage to Omaha’s Freedom Park storm damage still remains from 2019′s historic flood.

Now, there’s a resolution for the city to approve a $600,000 bid to restore any damaged park property. If the bid is approved, city leaders expect to start the work later this summer.

“A lot of the damage in other parks has already been completed,” Bryers said. “This is one of the few left that needs to be addressed.”

Puddles of water, fallen signs and broken-up sidewalks. All that is still a lot of work needed to get done and Dennis Bryers with the Omaha Parks and Recreation says they hope these are the final repairs made.

“Especially around the propellers, the anchors, and the stern plates that are on display in the park,” Bryers said. “Those are damaged and going to be replaced.”

The city’s been cleaning and repairing the park since 2020 and they didn’t open until later that year.

Now, it’s 2023. They have received help from Federal Emergency Management Agency. If this bid is approved, FEMA will reimburse the city.

“It’s just the FEMA process,” Bryers said. “It’s a very long elaborate process that just takes time.”>

During the process, the park has run into some roadblocks, like people vandalizing private property.

“Some writing on stuff, stealing copper, and wire,” Bryers said.

However, Bryers is thankful for the volunteers. Every Saturday, they help paint and restore the damaged park’s aircraft and ship…

”They’re constantly doing repairs like that to maintain it,” Bryers said.

A resolution to accept the bid, which the mayor recommends, will be discussed at Tuesday’s Council meeting.