PLATTSMOUTH – There’s a lot of water out there.
New flooding pictures taken from a drone are providing a new look on the magnitude of what this area is dealing with now and in the future.
The drone, which was provided by Plattsmouth Police Officer Jon Hardy, took photos of the flooding this past weekend.
One picture shows the ever-growing breach at the Platte River a mile or so west of where it meets the Missouri River.
That breach is now 500 feet wide and 17 feet deep, according to city officials.
“Water will continue to flow unless it’s repaired,” City Administrator Erv Portis said.
Mayor Paul Lambert added, “I don’t see it drying up or going away, unfortunately. It’s a tremendous change for Schilling (Wildlife Area). It’s making it an island. It will take millions and millions of dollars to get it fixed.”
Councilman Steve Riese said it’s still unclear who has the responsibility of repairing that breach, if anyone does. The city does not own that land, he added.
“One possible outcome is that the Platte River might now have a new channel that causes the Schilling Wildlife area to be under water some, most, or all of the time,” he said.
“This makes our planning for our future water supply and sewer treatment even more important. It might not be `just another flood’ that we have to be concerned with, but the water that many have affectionately called ‘Lake Plattsmouth’ could be with us indefinitely.”
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Hopefully, what is not indefinite is having the city’s two main water plants out of commission.
There’s even some light at the end of that tunnel, Riese and other City Council members were told Monday evening.
According to officials for Olmsted and Perry Consulting Engineers, city crews are cleaning up the main structure of the water treatment plant after getting temporary power restored at Well No. 8. This now allows water from there to flow to the plant.
“Without it, they would have had nothing to clean the plant,” Riese said.
There is still much electrical work to be done, the council was told.
Nevertheless, the engineers have completed the plans, specifications and bidding documents for restoring the main electrical service to the water treatment plant.
The council approved the solicitation of bids for this project with an estimated cost of $215,000.
“I think we could have drinking water by the end of August,” Riese said.
Work may take longer to bring the wastewater plant back in operation, but sewage is at least flowing back into the plant with little or no treatment, the council was told.
“We have the flow at least going back in the right direction,” Riese said.