Mayor Chris Beutler on Friday signed an emergency order enabling the Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department (LTU) to escalate staffing and resources to further safeguard the City's wellfields near Ashland. Major flooding in the area is causing land erosion that, if left unaddressed, could compromise valuable city infrastructure.
"Water supply for the City of Lincoln is unaffected at this time," Beutler said. "However, we have to give our teams on the ground an expanded ability to protect our assets along the Platte River."
According to the National Weather Service, historic flooding continues today across much of eastern Nebraska, resulting from heavy rain, snowmelt and ice jam break-ups. The Platte River is among 14 waterways expected to see the most significant impact through the weekend.
"With the Emergency Order, LTU will be joined by Nebraska Emergency Management in efforts to fortify the banks of the Platte River around wells and pipelines," Garden said. "This morning, the transformer supplying electricity to one of our wells was flooded, lost power and must be replaced."
The Lincoln Fire and Rescue Water Rescue Team is planning to provide a boat and four personnel to support monitoring and any repair operations. Preparations are also being made for the Nebraska National Guard to use a helicopter to place sandbags along the bank where needed.
"Our Lincoln Water System team has been diligently monitoring the path of flooding 24/7 and responding proactively to ensure water supply and quality is maintained," said Miki Esposito, LTU Director. "This is one more example of their quick and proactive action, and we appreciate the Mayor's and State of Nebraska's support."