Omaha Mayor issues disaster declaration as water rises

Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle has issued a disaster declaration as the Missouri River approaches record flood stage.

Suttle announced the disaster declaration Wednesday. It's the first step in securing state and federal funding to help cover expenses.

The Missouri River is above flood stage of 29 feet as of Wednesday morning. Colonel Robert Ruch of the Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District says the river will crest later this month at 34 to 36 feet. Col. Ruch says the levee along Omaha's riverfront is 42 feet.

Mayor Suttle also activated the Emergency Operations Center, which brings together all emergency personnel under one command system.

Flood Warnings remain in effect from the Nebraska-South Dakota border to Rulo. N.P. Dodge Park, Freedom Park, and Lewis and Clark Landing are closed due to flooding.

In pictures: Missouri River flooding June 2, 2011 (photos by Katie Knapp Schubert, KIOS-FM)