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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2008 Media Releases

June 12, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


Mayor Chris Beutler today said residents can be proud of how local government responded to last night’s severe weather incident. Lincoln officials report no injuries and no significant damage during the extended tornado warning.

“The Scout Camp tragedy in Iowa demonstrates again how dangerous these storms can be, and our hearts go out to all those families dealing with that disaster,” said Mayor Beutler. “I want to thank all the City and County employees who took action last night to keep our community safe.”

City and Lancaster County employees work together out of a joint Emergency Operations Center during potentially dangerous events. Emergency Management, 911, Police, Fire, Public Works and Utilities, Health and Parks are all involved.

Fire Chief Niles Ford said Fire and Rescue had a very busy night. Off-duty personnel were called in to respond to multiple fire alarms and other emergencies. Police Chief Tom Casady reports nothing too unusual. But public safety professionals stress that motorists should never attempt to drive into flooded streets.

The Lincoln Electric System reports that all customers had power restored by midnight.

Public Works and Utilities reports no power outages at the water treatment facilities. Additional employees were called in to inspect and verify the running status for remote wastewater and stormwater pumping stations throughout the City. Crews responded to high-level alarms at the 48th and Cornhusker and Havelock underpasses, but pumps were determined to be operating properly.

The City’s two wastewater treatment facilities are receiving and treating higher than normal flows. Early this morning, the facilities recorded peak flow rates that were two to three times higher than normal. Volumes are expected to be higher than normal for the next few days, and officials said the treatment facilities are capable of handling the increased flow. All wastewater received treatment, and no raw or untreated wastewater was discharged to streams in Lincoln.

City street crews were out early checking flooded locations and placing barricades. Most barricades had been removed by 2:30 a.m., but crews continued to check potential problem areas. No City streets are closed due to flooding at this time.

Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson said City trees were spared another destructive night, but portions of some City trails are closed at this time due to water, silt and brush:

  • Users of the Billy Wolfe Trail along Antelope Creek are encouraged to use at-grade crossings instead of the underpasses.
  • Use of the Bison Trail between Wilderness Park and Pioneers Park is discouraged for the next several days. Underpasses are closed.
  • On the Salt Creek Levee Trail, the street underpasses and the railroad underpass at South 1st and “J” streets are closed.
  • Gravel surfacing on the Jamaica North Trail through Wilderness Park has been washed off, and users are advised to be careful.

Johnson said the trail underpasses will be open by late next week unless Lincoln experiences more significant storms.

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