FREMONT – City Administrator Brian Newton provided an update to the flooding information at 6:30PM on Saturday, and the news is sadly grim. There are two major breaches where the Platte river is flowing into Fremont, and one can’t be repaired until the river level drops – which could take days.
The two breaches are located west of town where the Platte is flowing fast into the Fremont State Lakes and Lake Leba, over filling the lakes with river water and out into the road – and eventually, right into Fremont and Inglewood. “These two places are up in the Rod & Gun Club area,” said Brian Newton, referring to an area west of the Fremont Lake SRA near highway 30.
The first breach is a quarter mile long, where the Platte river is flowing at two to three miles per hour into these lake areas. The Platte itself is a foot higher than earlier in this event. “It’s flowing massive amounts of water into this stream,” Newton told us. All this water is feeding into the lakes, overtopping onto Ridge Road and making its way east into more of Fremont. Sawyer Construction and others in the area are hauling as much “rip rap,” loose stone used to form a foundation for a breakwater, as possible to shore up this breach. It will take a minimum of one day to fix this first breach.
Half a mile down from this breach, there’s another one. The river water from this breach is entering the same path, also flowing to Lake Leba, the Fremont Lakes SRA, the Rod and Gun Club area and flowing east to Ridge and into town.
Once it enters town, some water is traveling up Military, while much of the water flowed south, down through Inglewood and down through the Wholestone Farms/Lincoln Premium Poultry plant areas and out onto old 275. “Essentially, this water is creating a new channel through the south side of Fremont,” said Newton.
This second breach can’t be accessed until the Platte river level drops, and it will be days before the flooding is over. River predictions from the National Weather Service say that the Platte may not be done surging and they aren’t willing to commit to saying the crest has come and gone. “We’re just going to have to wait for the Platte to drop, that’s all there is to it,” Newton remarked, sadly.
Newton also touched on the power outages that occurred this morning, this afternoon and this evening. First, the morning power outage was caused when the sandbagging around substation F was overtopped. Water breached the area and caused the substation to trip. This afternoon, another substation tripped and there was a mechanical failure, causing more outages. The NPPD main line had to refeed power through to the power plant, which is now repowering substations, which will subsequently power homes. Power should be restored to all areas by this evening.
Neither the power outages, nor the breaches have affected Fremont’s tap water. The water remains safe to drink. There are no septic system issues or sewer issues at this time.
Listen to Brian’s full commentary: