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Posted 8/20/2018

Release no. 18-051

Eileen Williamson

OMAHA, NE – Releases from Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River were reduced from 58,000 cubic feet per second to 52,000 cfs to address heavy rainfall in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

A weather system that has already seen rainfall totals from 2 to 6 inches across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa is causing increased river stages along the Missouri River and tributaries in the area.

“Although the reduced releases won’t likely have an impact on peak river stages, it should allow for a faster decline from those stages as the rain moves from the area,” said John Remus, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.

The ability to significantly reduce flood risk along the lower Missouri River diminishes at locations further downstream due to the large uncontrolled drainage area and the travel time from Gavins Point Dam.

The reduced release will be held for 2 to 3 days as the runoff from the the recent rain makes its way through the system, at which time releases from Gavins Point will return to the rate of 58,000 cfs.

“Releases will remain higher than average through the late fall because the reservoirs have to be at the base of the annual flood control pool by the beginning of the 2019 runoff season. We have to be closer to that level at Fort Peck and Garrison Dams by late December before the river and reservoirs ice-in. We will continue to monitor conditions and make adjustments as necessary,” said Remus.

Additional precipitation, lack of precipitation or other circumstances could cause adjustments to the reservoir release rates.

More information about releases and river stages downstream from Gavins Point Dam is available here http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/pdfs/GRFT.pdf and from the National Weather Service, Missouri Basin River Forecast Center https://www.weather.gov/mbrfc/.