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News Releases : Flood safety and power reconnection steps

Omaha Public Power District knows many of our customers are facing difficulties right now after historic flooding impacted the area. We understand because a number of our own employees are coping with their own property damage and losses, as well. Remember safety comes first.

OPPD crews have been working to protect infrastructure from floodwaters to maintain safe, reliable service for our entire 13-county service territory.

For safety purposes we have disconnected power to more than 1,500 customers due to the flooding and related issues. This is a precaution OPPD takes when directed by law enforcement or emergency management officials. It is for customer safety, as well as for the safety of others living in the area, first responders, and our crews. In these cases, OPPD will not be able to turn power back on until flooding subsides.

OPPD is currently evaluating the safety of the electric equipment throughout flood-impacted areas in our service territory. As our customers return to homes and businesses damaged by floodwaters, OPPD urges our customers to proceed with extreme caution.  

Risks associated with standing water

  • If you have standing water in your basement, do not enter until you’ve made sure there are no electrical shock dangers. Read more about this topic here.
  • Such waters may also contain chemicals and raw sewage which could make you sick, as well as sharp debris.

Generator safety

For those looking at using generators to supply power during outages or disconnections, there are important safety tips to keep in mind.

  • The total electric load on your generator must not exceed the manufacturer's rating.
  • Portable generators are designed for connection only to smaller selected appliances or lamps.
  • Generators should NEVER be connected directly to a building's wiring system. This is extremely dangerous and could lead to a fire.
  • Portable generators should be kept outside during use to ensure the exhaust will vent safely. (Use of a generator in an enclosed area may cause a buildup of carbon monoxide or other harmful exhaust gases.)
  • Use a portable gas-powered generator for powering dewatering pumps when electrical safety is in question.
  • Always wait five minutes or more for the generator to cool down prior to refueling.

Power disconnection

Customers who would like to disconnect power due to flooding will be subject to a reconnect process (see Power reconnection section below).

  • To request disconnection, contact OPPD directly at 402-536-4131 or toll-free at 1-877-536-4131.
  • If OPPD cannot access a particular customer due to floodwaters or damaged roadways, the order to disconnect will be cancelled. If that should occur, power will remain on until OPPD is directed by the emergency management agency for that county. This is for everyone’s safety.
  • If a customer’s home is destroyed by flooding and the customer wishes to cancel service entirely, OPPD can end service as of the last meter reading.

Power reconnection

When floodwaters recede, customers must follow a process before reconnecting power.

  • Customers must obtain an inspection and permit prior to reconnection of electric service to ensure safety for all involved. This is required by local and state permitting authorities.
  • To locate where to obtain a permit in your area, visit the Nebraska Electrical Division’s city and municipal government directory. If your local town or community is not listed, see the state electrical inspector directory for your area. You may also find the information on this OPPD flyer
  • Sarpy County requests that customers who have no access to their homes due to flooding, and who would like to apply for an electrical inspection in order to get a permit, visit their website to fill out a form. Link directly here.
  • OPPD will not charge customers displaced by flooding to re-establish service if they are reconnecting within 12 months.

More information on these topics can be found at oppd.com/Floodinfo.