The Day After: Cleanup Begins In North Omaha Post Flooding

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Paul Gutierrez

OMAHA (KPTM) - Most of the floodwater has evaporated from a North Omaha neighborhood near 17th and Ames, but the cleanup is just getting started.

"The high water mark reached my garage," said Lawrence Hall, who lives in the area.  "There's only mud over there now."

Tuesday night's scene, of course, was much different.  Heavy rain, emergency rescue efforts and water waist high was everywhere near Hall's home; sights and sounds he'll never forget.

"My wife and I heard it [the storm] coming.  We just didn't think it would happen so quick."

By morning, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and other city leaders wasted no time touring the damage.  The task now is getting this part of town cleaned up as some neighbors question why flooding was such a problem Tuesday night.  Public Works Director Bob Stubbe says it all boils down to elevation.

"When you have a storm event of the quantity of water and the intensity that was experienced, it just overwhelms the storm sewer system," said Stubbe.

It's something Hall's known about for decades.  He was able to minimize the damage by taking action nearly 50 years ago when he first moved in.

"I raised the foundation of my home by about four feet," said Hall.

Crews are now working to replace manhole covers that were blown off by Mother Nature's fury; a storm so bad rainfall totals topped five inches out by Eppley Airfield.



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