HEARTLAND FLOOD: Paradise Lakes demolition timeline complicated by rains

BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) -- The City of Bellevue is hopeful it’s found a way to avoid a bill of more than $1,000,000 to clean up a flood-stricken mobile home park.

They’re aiming to start bulldozing Paradise Lakes by midsummer, but recent heavy rainfall is threatening to put a damper on things.

Mayor Rusty Hike believes taking control of the mobile homes gives the city the best chance of getting the contaminated property cleaned up.

“The word is FEMA will be able to reimburse us and that’s what we’re counting on, so the city shouldn’t be out the money in the long run,” said Mayor Hike. The city plans to put a lien on the property for the cost of the work.

“We don’t want the contaminated properties down there just festering,” said the mayor. “It looks bad for the city — it’s not good for people’s health.”

Just as the city is starting to get a grip on what to do with the mobile home park, more water has begun flooding in; threatening the progress of Paradise Lakes, as well as nearby Green Acres, and about 50 businesses.

“The rainwaters have brought it pretty much right back up to their front doors,” said Mayor Hike. “That’s why we’re going to start pumping, to see if it will do any good.”

With more rain expected to be on its way, city administrator Jim Ristow explains all they can really do at this point is pump the water as fast and as safely as they possibly can, and hope they can move it out of this area.

“Mother Nature rules here,’ said Ristow. “I wish we had a way to control Mother Nature, but I guess it’s pray we don’t get anymore rain.”

The city plans to keep pumping water into the Missouri River, in hopes it will help but it’s a battle they expect to be waging for a while.

“We hearing that Gavin’s Point is going to continue to release record amounts of water, so we’re probably going to be stuck with this all summer,” said Ristow.

The city is aiming to have a plan in place for the demolition and clean-up of Paradise Lakes by mid-summer. Meanwhile, the owners of Green Acres are hoping to start demolition of more than 100 units within the next few weeks.