Missouri River Rising: Flooding At N.P. Dodge Park
By: Melina MatthesMMatthes@kptm.comOMAHA (kptm) - A large amount of new rainfall has caused several levees in northwestern Iowa to break. Now cities downstream are bracing for flooding. In Omaha, officials are preparing for the Missouri river to surpass flood stage by next week. Fox 42 News was at N.P. Dodge Park where water is already flowing over the bank. Wednesday morning, the parking lot next to the river was dry, now it's under water and the Parks Department said by Thursday morning it could be six feet high."Holy smokes the debris that's in that water now."Tree branches and rubble from storms north of Omaha are coming this way. Piles of debris flowing downstream are washing up at N.P. Dodge Park. "When they've had that much rain up north hitting that same basin that feeds this part of the river and in Iowa and South Dakota, there's nothing that we can do about it. What you'll see tomorrow, it's coming and there's not a whole lot we can do about it," Parks Director, Brook Bench said.In the meantime, the Parks Department is closing portions of the park. Forcing campers like James Bishop to unplug their RV's and hit the road."We were surprised that the river would come up because I'd been down looking at it and it was down quite a ways and I thought wow. They'd figured it come up and over the bank, that's a lot of water," Bishop said.It was something he didn't believe until the water flooded the parking lot causing fish to come ashore."It's kind of interesting. I'm not from around here and I thought well maybe this ought to be something to see."After the 2011 flooding, the Parks Department secured all the benches and boat docks. Officials said the only problem they'll have after the water recedes is debris, branches, and silt. Freedom Park would also flood again if the Missouri river exceeds flood stage. That park has been closed since the 2011 flood. Pottawattamie County Conservation will be closing the Narrows River Park to public access on Friday morning. The Omaha Public Works Department is taking precautions at the wastewater treatment plant. A 5-foot berm will be built to provide protection to the plant."Like" Melina on Facebook and follow her on Twitter to stay connected.