OMAHA, NE --
The Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division, Missouri River Basin Water Management Division, John Remus participated on calls held by the USACE Omaha and Kansas City Districts to inform designated stakeholders of current conditions and potential forecasts for reservoir operations.
"The ground is very wet, and weather patterns have been very active, just about any significant rainfall in north central Nebraska, and central and or western South Dakota will likely require an increase in releases from Gavins Point Dam in order to manage pools levels at Oahe and Fort Randall dams," said Remus.
The Missouri River Mainstem reservoir system, particularly in South Dakota are receiving significant inflows from recent rain storms. Releases from Garrison Dam in North Dakota will be reduced to offset some of the high inflows entering the system from Oahe to Gavins Point. At Oahe and Fort Randall Dams, pools are forecast to enter their exclusive flood control zones this weekend.
Part of the pool rise at Oahe and Fort Randall Dams will come as releases from these projects are temporarily reduced to offset high inflows into Gavins Point reservoir, primarily from the Niobrara River.
“The 3-week forecast was updated today and shows releases at Gavins Point will stay at 60,000 cfs through the forecast period. However, runoff remains high and if inflows increase more than current projections, releases could be increased by 5,000 cfs or more depending upon actual inflows,” said Remus.
Since late March, releases from Gavins Point Dam have been focused on regaining storage space at Oahe and Fort Randall reservoirs. It is important to maintain some storage capacity in the reservoirs to prevent having to pass inflows, which would be much higher.
Mountain snowmelt in Montana, and Wyoming has begun and remains near normal. Water from the mountain snowpack enters the system at Fort Peck Dam in Montana and Garrison Dam in North Dakota. The pools at the Fort Peck and Garrison reservoirs will be able to capture and manage the forecasted mountain snowmelt.
"We understand the impact that high water throughout the basin and the entire Midwest is having on people and communities and we are committed to communicate any changes to releases as quickly as possible," said Remus.
The public should monitor National Weather Service forecasts and follow the direction of local authorities and emergency managers.
The National Weather Service is the official government provider of river stage forecasts. http://www.weather.gov/mbrfc. (All USACE Reservoir operations are part of the NWS forecasts)
A “web app” to follow the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management is available at http://go.usa.gov/xE6fC Visit the website and then add to your mobile device’s home screen.