OMAHA, Neb. — The cost of rebuilding Offutt Air Force Base is going to be far higher than engineers first thought, according to a Nebraska congressman and military officials.

Republican Rep. Don Bacon told the Omaha World-Herald that he’s been told by Offutt officials to expect the original estimate of nearly $800 million to rise to around $1.1 billion.

Officials at Offutt’s 55th Wing agreed that costs would be higher, but declined to specify an amount. Lt. Col Chris Conover said initial estimates were done quickly and with incomplete information about what the reconstruction would need to include. He also blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for pushing up the costs of supplies and labor.

The flood hit Offutt on March 15, 2019. About one-third of the base was inundated with water up to 8 feet deep. The flood took weeks to recede.

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