Storm Damage Closes Trails

Storm Damage Closes Trails


LINCOLN (NE) May 21, 2015 - The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District has closed parts of the MoPac East and Homestead recreational trails due to storm damage. Storms on May 6th and 7th washed away several miles of the Homestead Trail surface and there is bridge damage. NRD General Manager Glenn Johnson said, "We have other damages to NRD projects from the storms, but the trail closings will have a big effect on the public and we certainly regret any inconveniences to trail users." The Homestead Trail is closed from where it begins at about 23rd and Saltillo Road, south to Firth Road; about eleven miles. A MoPac East Trail bridge northeast of Elmwood also sustained significant damage, causing the NRD to close the trail from Fletcher Avenue to where the trail ends at Wabash, a distance of almost two miles.

The NRD does not yet know the completion dates of trail repairs. Johnson said, "We are still assessing the extent of damages, the types of restoration that will be needed and developing the plan, schedule and funding for the repairs." The NRD estimates damage to the Homestead Trail at about $235,000 and damage to the MoPac East Trail at over $100,000. Those figures, along with damage estimates to other NRD projects including dams, creek banks and removing debris from the Salt Creek Levee, totaling $677,000, have been submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Approximately 70 of the NRD's 180 flood control dams were inspected immediately following the storms. Ten of those dams rose enough to send runoff through emergency spillways. Four US Army Corps of Engineers dams in southern Lancaster County (Holmes Lake, Yankee Hill, Bluestem and Olive Creek) reached record levels after the early May storms. Those dams, along with the NRD dams combined to temporarily store storm runoff until after water levels peaked along Salt Creek.