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Floodwater drainage assessment of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, 2020–22

June 13, 2023

Offutt Air Force Base, south of Omaha, Nebraska, experienced major flooding during the March 2019 flood event because of the proximity of the base to the confluence of the Missouri River and nearby tributaries, which exceeded flood stages. Postflood, standing water remained through much of the year, attracting waterfowl and other birds and posing a major safety risk to aircraft. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force, began a study in 2020 to describe the hydrologic processes that affect the persistence of standing water on Offutt Air Force Base.

Existing site data, reviewed in concert with groundwater and surface-water elevation data collected for the study, indicate varying hydrologic responses between two areas of concern (AOCs), which can be linked to differences in subsurface geology and changes in flows of the Missouri River. An inundation map indicated that standing water would be present throughout Papillion Creek Ditch in AOC 1 and would extend upstream to AOC 2 during flow events greater than 771 cubic feet per second. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center-River Analysis System model and a flow-duration analysis were used to infer that many of the surface-water drainage problems experienced in 2019 were the result of backwater conditions caused by higher streamflows in the Missouri River.

Publication Year 2023
Title Floodwater drainage assessment of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, 2020–22
DOI 10.3133/sir20235053
Authors Christopher M. Hobza, Kellan R. Strauch
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2023-5053
Index ID sir20235053
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Nebraska Water Science Center