News Releases

Gavins Point releases still at 24,000 cfs, Fort Randall releases at zero until Saturday

Northwestern Division
Published March 21, 2019
The elevation was 1208.4 feet this morning, holding fairly steady over the past 24 hours.
Gavins Point releases remain at 24,000 cfs.

Gavins Point Dam The elevation was 1208.4 feet this morning, holding fairly steady over the past 24 hours. Gavins Point releases remain at 24,000 cfs. Inflows from the Niobrara and other creeks into the Gavins Point reservoir need to decline further before we make a release reduction to 20,000 cfs. Once we reach 20,000 cfs, we will maintain releases at that rate as long as system conditions allow. Gavins Point release changes take -2 to 3 days to reach Omaha -3 to 4 days to reach Nebraska City -4 to 5 days to reach Kansas City, Missouri. Fort Randall Dam Releases remain at 0 cfs

Gavins Point Dam releases were reduced from 28,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 24,000 cfs on Wednesday, March 20.

“Releases were scheduled to be reduced to 20,000 cfs by this morning but Gavins Point inflows, primarily from the Niobrara River, continue to match releases. Our office will continue monitoring runoff conditions throughout the Missouri River basin,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division.

Once the inflows have dropped below 20,000 cfs, the Gavins Point releases will be reduced to 20,000 cfs.

Releases from Fort Randall Dam remain at 0 cfs. The current plan is to begin releases from Fort Randall Dam on Saturday. Travel time from Fort Randall Dam to Gavins Point Dam is about 1.5 days.

The Gavins Point pool elevation is 1208.35 feet, remaining nearly steady over the last 24 hours. 

The National Weather Service is forecasting high flows from melting snowpack in the coming weeks on the Big Sioux, Vermillion, and James Rivers in eastern South Dakota. 

Frost depths remain very deep and soils are very wet in these basins and across the entire lower Missouri River basin.  These conditions will result in a significant portion of the melted snowpack become direct runoff into smaller streams, and eventually, into the Missouri River.  

Gavins Point release changes take two to three days to reach Omaha, three to four days to reach Nebraska City, and four to five days to reach Kansas City, Missouri.

Public safety remains a priority and local emergency managers are the best resource for information. For questions or concerns, call 211 to reach National Resource hotline and website geared to local area needs.

The Corps has established webpage at (the URL is case sensitive) that can be saved to your mobile phone’s home screen.  This webpage provides links to the most up-to-date information from the Corps, including runoff and release schedules, links to the Omaha and Kansas City Districts, links to our social media accounts, and a link to the National Weather Service, Missouri Basin River Forecast Center. We have also provided links to the “App” on Facebook and Twitter.

Eileen Williamson

Release no. 19-018