Omaha Public Radio News
3:53 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

OPPD President says power to residents will not be interrupted due to flooding

Omaha, NE – The President of Omaha Public Power District says there will be no interruption in the flow of electricity to residents due to flooding and the closure of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant.

Gary Gates spoke at the Missouri River Unified Command Meeting this morning (Tuesday). He says OPPD has major generating stations in North Omaha and Nebraska City as well as gas turbines that are fully available. Gates says the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant is protected to 1,014 feet above sea level and is sitting about eight feet below that right now. He says OPPD has established a recovery team that is ready to restart Fort Calhoun when the floodwaters recede, "We're planning for a long duration through the summer if we need to; to also supply power for the whole summer, if we need to, without the Fort Calhoun station. So, we are committed to continue to supply power for Omaha and our entire service area. There have been many questions about cost for that effort. We don't know yet what the cost will be. A lot of that will depend on the duration of the situation with the flooding. But I can tell you our initial approach is this, we are going to put pressure on ourselves first."

Gates says OPPD has taken 9 million dollars out of their budget, deferred projects and applied for aid from FEMA. Additionally, they will work with their insurance companies as they move forward.

Volunteers are needed to help fill sandbags this Thursday and Friday from 12:30 to 4:30 and 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. For more information, the number is 402-444-5947.