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Storms submerge Omaha trails

Posted at 5:57 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 18:57:57-04
Heavy rain Friday in the metro and heavy rain Thursday north of Omaha is pushing area creeks and rivers to the limit.
 
In many places the water is up to the banks and in some cases over them.  
 
The Papio creek is usually a few feet deep. It surpassed 15 feet at times Friday morning.
 
Many stretches of the Papio trail were washed out several times this summer.
 
U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologist Phil Soenksen says the Papio has flooded more times this summer in at least five years. 
 
"You just always have to be alert to getting inundated,” Soenksen said. “The trails follow the creek and when they go past the bridges and when they go underneath, under the bridges is exposed to flooding before the upper parts." 
 
The U.S. Geological Survey is measuring water levels across the city to prepare for emergency situations and wet summers. 
 
"If areas are going to be flooded then they need to let people know,” Soenksen said. “That's the purpose of the flood warning system so they have early warning and take action for other emergency management." 
 
Hannah Hackett works across the street from the Papio creek.
 
"Right now it's not even the worse I've seen it,” Hackett said. “It comes up over the grass and makes it so you can't go through the trail on the sidewalk there."
 
When the Papio floods, it also worries animals, Hackett said.
 
"We get little rivers in our parking lot,” Hackett said. “On those days it comes up really far and even the geese don't like it."