City of Norfolk officials offered cautious optimism and additional updates in the third flooding-related press briefing of the day Thursday afternoon.
The Nebraska Public Power District was to purposely stage a power outage at 5:30 p.m. for residences and businesses south of Prospect Avenue that was expected last no longer than two hours, Mayor Josh Moenning said. The outage will help NPPD repair a substation affected by flooding.
Shane Weidner, the city public safety director, said the outage would affect two of the five shelters displaced residents are staying in: Lutheran High Northeast and Norfolk Catholic High School.
Moenning asked that people donate air mattresses for displaced residents, as they will be expected to stay at the shelters overnight Thursday and the city has used all cots that are readily available. Air mattresses can be donated to the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska headquarters at the former Nebraska Christian College.
Moenning also had some positive updates: water levels on the Elkhorn River are lowering, the North Fork River is leveling and the levee is holding steady. He said it’s all good news in a crisis that has affected more than 1,000 residents.
“We’re not out of the woods yet, but conditions aren’t worsening,” Moenning said.
Weidner said officials plan to keep shelters open through Friday night after waiting for an update on water levels. Damage levels in the city have been minimal, he said, with most damage to damage on roadways outside city limits and some low level flooding inside city limits from the North Fork.
Other emergency response efforts from officials include pumping water out of the North Fork River into the levee to preserve residential areas starting to be encroached.
Moenning thanked city staff, first responders and the police division, as well as the Nebraska National Guard, who all helped with rescue efforts.
There were no updates on the missing person reported Thursday morning.