Nebraska nuclear power plant along Missouri River continues operating

Nebraska nuclear power plant along Missouri River continues operating
Cooper Nuclear Station SARAH HOFFMAN/THE WORLD-HERALD

The Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville, Nebraska, along the Missouri River still is operating at 100 percent on Saturday evening, the Nebraska Public Power District said.

The plant continues to operate under a “Notice of Unusual Event” with its federal regulator as the Missouri River is elevated, though water levels near the plant have been going down, NPPD said.

“Water levels in the river have had no impact on operations and there is no indication of leakage at the facility,” the power district said.

Offutt in all-out push to keep water from flooding base

Airmen at Offutt Air Force Base filled 30,000 sandbags Friday and Saturday, and officials requested 30,000 more on Saturday afternoon, in a last-ditch effort to block flood waters that are covering much of the southeastern part of the base.

An aerial photo, posted by 55th Wing Commander Col. Michael Manion on his Facebook page, showed the Missouri River had crept up to the southeast end of Offutt’s single runway. A lake, campground, and baseball fields were under water, and several buildings south of the runway are surrounded.

“Water is entering from the river and through the storm drains,” Manion wrote in the post Saturday afternoon. “Several buildings including the (55th) Wing Building are inundated with water. We continue to work as rapidly as possible to improve water defenses around critical infrastructure.”

Photos showed water had reached the hangar that houses the 595th Command and Control Group, which operates the Air Force’s fleet of four E-4B Nightwatch airborne command posts jets.

The Air Force flew in a 740-foot length of Aqua Dam barriers from Louisiana to deploy around the hangar, said Larry Campisi, president of Gulf Coast Aqua Dams.

Manion said power to the base has not been interrupted.

The water was expected to crest near the base late Saturday, Manion said.

Evacuation orders issued for Saunders County communities

The Saunders County, Nebraska, Sheriff’s Office announced an emergency evacuation order Saturday evening.

The county’s emergency management agency said the following communities must evacuate due to an “imminent levee failure” along the Platte River:

>> Thomas Lakes

>> Lake Allure

>> Big Sandy

>> Sandy Pointe

>> Wann

The Sheriff’s Office said emergency personnel were facilitating the evacuation. The Ashland Fire Department said in a tweet to “get out NOW!”

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