The Missouri River floodwaters have dropped enough for the City of Council Bluffs to drop some of its flood related emergency measures. Council Bluffs public information officer Don Gross and says the city is no longer at “Alert One” status.
“River levels dropped below 32 feet and we expect them to be at 31 feet in a couple of days and then in the 30s,” Gross said. Flood stage in Council bluffs is 29 feet. The Alert One status had been place for more than two months.
The Iowa National Guard has ended its patrols of the city’s levees as the danger from a breach has greatly diminished. A lot of hard work went into three months of effort to keep the levees maintained,” Gross said. “The Corps will cease their presence here starting this evening and will be transported back to their regular bases tomorrow and Thursday.”
A flood related call center in Council Bluffs is also closing today. Though the Alert One status is over, Gross says there is still much to do. There is a flood cleanup meeting tonight to inform residents the best way to clean up flood damaged homes. There is more good news.
The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge connecting Council Bluffs and Omaha will reopen on the Iowa side Saturday morning at 7:00. The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant is no longer under a flood emergency just across the Missouri River in Nebraska. Omaha Public Power District spokesman Jeff Hanson says the river level has dropped enough to allow them to lift the “Notification of Unusual Event.”
The emergency classification was in place for 85 days. The entire plant was surrounded by flood water in June. The plant was shut down for refueling before the flooding began. Hanson says crews will inspect the plant inside and out and make all necessary repairs before the plant is allowed back on line.
“We are not going to start the plant for production until we are absolutely certain there is no damage done to the plant by all the water that had been on the site,” Hanson said. Workers at the plant have already started the process of removing flood barriers around buildings and disassembling the elevated catwalks that workers used to cross the flooded parking lot.