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Papio NRD: Lake Oroville Dam emergency not likely in Omaha Metro

Papio NRD: Lake Oroville Dam emergency not likely in Omaha Metro
Posted at 12:25 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 13:25:10-05

Officials with the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District  say it is unlikely Omaha metro will see a similar dam emergency like the one that occurred in Lake Oroville, CA.

“Comparing the Oroville Dam to any dam in the Omaha Metro area is not comparing apples to apples. It is, in fact, like comparing an apple to the space shuttle,” said John Winkler, Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District General Manager.

Officials say dams built and maintained by the Papio Missouri River NRD are 90 percent smaller than the Oroville Dam which is the tallest dam in the United States at 770 feet in height.

"By comparison, Dam Site 15A, being constructed by the NRD on 168th and Fort Streets, is 50 feet tall," officials said in a statement.

Officials added their district works closely with state and federal agencies to insure that all of its structures meet or exceed the strictest dam safety requirements.

"Furthermore, the District performs a spillway integrity analysis on every dam they design as required by the State of Nebraska. District maintenance crews also regularly and meticulously inspect our dams and repair any possible deficiencies as quickly as possible to insure our citizens are safe," officials said.

NRD officials said there has never been a high hazard dam failure in Nebraska's history.