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Too Much Water: Status of our water systems with more rain in the forecast

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 23, 2024

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — With the possibility of more rain in the forecast, are there concerns for more flooding in the future and are our water systems prepared to handle it?

  • As of Wednesday, the city said the pipes and systems underground we back to flowing normal.
  • John Winkler with Papio NRD was concerned about more rain Tuesday night but said there has been enough time to dry out and reset.
  • Several manhole covers were seen popping up across the city, Jim Theiler with Public Works says that helps the system relieve itself and causes fewer issues underground.


"I used to live over on Saddle Creek, I know it floods over there pretty good, but nothing like that anywhere around here really,” said Logan Foster a mechanic at AAMCO Transmissions.

He and the crew say couldn't get into the front of their lot Tuesday.

"It was three feet of water up here and about right where we are standing is where it was up to," Foster said.

He described Cole Creek as a river, several cars stuck on 72nd, something we saw in several parts of the city.

John Winkler with Papio NRD said the system, on the whole, worked as designed to prevent widespread catastrophic flooding.

"It’s being stressed, it's being tested, but it's working, so it's worked this way, ever since we started putting it together," Winkler said.

And while he didn't think it could hold much more water Tuesday, he said Wednesday that given the amount of time before the next storm, there is enough time to dry out and reset -- good news for soggy streets.

Across the city, manhole covers popped, pushed out of place by water, something Omaha Public Works told me is supposed to happen.

"The manhole covers popping off actually helped the system relieve itself so it causes a problem on the service and not underground," Jim Theiler, assistant director of public works.

Reporter Molly Hudson asked if there is a concern for the system with more rain in the forecast this week. "I think there is less of a concern with our systems because our systems, our pipes underground are back and flowing normal,” Theiler said.

And like the Papio NRD, the city has also been clearing debris to prevent blockages.

While the NRD continued work Wednesday following Tuesday's storms, neighbors like Logan aren't too concerned about it flooding again.