Watershed graphic Papio NRD Emmett

Perhaps the most flood-prone area within the State of Nebraska, the Papillion Creek Watershed consists of 402 square miles and drains heavy rains and snowmelt  from much of Douglas, Sarpy and Washington Counties – including the Omaha Metropolitan Area.

There are three primary creeks or tributaries that form the Papillion Creek system – Little Papillion Creek, Big Papillion Creek and West Branch Papillion Creek. Once joined, they form the Papillion Creek that empties its sometimes heavy rainfall runoff load into the Missouri River near Bellevue.

The Omaha Area has long been prone to disastrous flooding . Many times its creeks have overflowed causing tragic loss.  An important effort is underway to reduce the risk of flooding and to prevent the considerable loss of life and property that would occur during future flooding events.

Water is Power – The Power of the Papio NRD

 Consider these challenges:

  • Existing flood control and clean water protection measures within the area are at capacity.
  • Urban development is expected to expand across most of the area within the next 30 to 50 years.
  • More than 13,000 people would be displaced and property damage could run close to $2.1 billion if Omaha were to experience a flood within the Papillion Creek
    Watershed like the flood that struck Ames, Iowa in 2010.

2014 Papillion Creek Watershed Management Plan Summary

It Can Happen Here!
Ames Iowa Comparison to Papillion Creek Watershed:

View the Animations (below)
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West Branch Papio Creek

Big Papillion Creek

Learn More about this Flood Prone Watershed:

For more Information contact:

Amanda Grint
Water Resources Engineer

Lori Laster, CFM
Stormwater Management Engineer