Mayor Chris Beutler on Tuesday said crews are making progress repairing the City's flood-damaged water production facilities at the Platte River. Crews from Lincoln and the Omaha Public Power District continue working as quickly as possible to restore power to City wells.
Lincoln's supply of drinking water is safe. A Level 2 Water Use Restriction Emergency remains in effect. The Level 2 mandatory restrictions can be found at water.lincoln.ne.gov/flood.
"Crews are working hard to restore power to the island in the Platte River where three of the City's four large horizontal wells are located. Efforts to restore power to the north wellfield are also proceeding. At the same time we are working to assess whether infrastructure is intact and we can begin production," Beutler said. "We are hopeful that these issues can be resolved soon, but there are no guarantees. Many of our well units are still inaccessible, making most evaluation and repair impossible until the flood recedes further."
Beutler thanked Lincoln residents for their water conservation efforts. The daily average citywide water use was down approximately 3 million gallons since Monday. "Because of the tremendous effort made by the residents and businesses of the community, water production came very close to meeting our water consumption. We continue to evaluate the need for restrictions on a daily basis with the goal of lifting them as soon as repairs are made to increase production."
The City reminds residents that outdoor water use is prohibited at this time, including washing vehicles. Residents who are not comfortable asking others to observe water restrictions may call the Lincoln Police Department non-emergency number at 402-441-6000.
City and emergency management officials on Monday asked the Governor's Office to issue a disaster declaration for Lincoln to make it eligible for state and federal funding to assist in repair efforts. Mandatory water restrictions for Lincoln residents went into effect on Sunday, following a temporary lapse in water production at the City wellfields.
As repairs continue, Beutler noted that the City is ready to respond to any situation. "We are in good hands with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management and the City agencies that power it- including Lincoln Transportation and Utilities, Lincoln Fire and Rescue, Lincoln Police Department, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. They are leading the unified command to develop contingency upon contingency for restoring water production, repairing our assets, and preparing for any other potential conditions to which we may be asked to respond."
Residents are encouraged to visit water.lincoln.ne.gov/flood for the latest Lincoln Water System operations updates during Platte River flooding.