News Releases

Corps announces incremental release increases from Gavins Point Dam due to continued high inflows

Northwestern Division, Missouri River Water Management
Published May 28, 2019
From May 20 to May 27, rainfall over much of Nebraska, South Dakota and central North Dakota has been 200 to 600% of normal for this time of year. The continued rain has led to higher inflows at Oahe, Big Bend, Fort Randall, and Gavins Point Dams.

From May 20 to May 27, rainfall over much of Nebraska, South Dakota and central North Dakota has been 200 to 600% of normal for this time of year. The continued rain has led to higher inflows at Oahe, Big Bend, Fort Randall, and Gavins Point Dams.

Releases from Gavins Point Dam will increase by 5,000 cubic feet per second today (May 28) and an additional 5,000 cfs tomorrow.

Over the last seven days, rainfall over much of Nebraska, South Dakota and central North Dakota has been 200 to 600% of normal for this time of year. The continued rain has led to higher inflows at Oahe, Big Bend, Fort Randall, and Gavins Point Dams.

“The inflows into Oahe are still high and with pool levels in their exclusive zones at the Oahe and Fort Randall reservoirs, we need to ensure we have space available to manage additional runoff,” said John Remus, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.

The currently planned changes are as follows:

  • Garrison Releases: Decrease May 28 from 20,000 cfs to  15,000 cfs
  • Fort Randall Releasese: ‚Äč
    • Increase May 28 from 45,000 cfs to 50,000 cfs 
    • Will increase corresponding to Gavins Point releases
  • Gavins Point Releases:
    • Increase May 28 from 60,000 cfs to 65,000 cfs
    • Increase May 29 from 65,000 cfs to 70,000 cfs

Increasing the releases from Gavins Point Dam will allow more water to pass through the system and slow the rise in the pool levels at these projects.

“We will be publishing our Missouri Basin Update on a daily basis to ensure we keep the public informed of our operations and our operational decisions,” said Remus.

The effects from releases on the lower Missouri River diminishes at locations further downstream due to the large uncontrolled drainage area and the travel time from Gavins Point Dam. Travel times for releases from Gavins Point 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.

“We will continue to monitor conditions along the length of the Missouri River and make adjustments as necessary,” said Remus.

Releases will remain higher than average into the fall because the reservoirs have to be at the base of the annual flood control pool by the beginning of the 2020 runoff season.

The National Weather Service issues official stage forecasts for the Missouri River and the public should monitor their nearest upstream gage as fluctuations to river stages will occur with regional precipitation along the rivers and creeks that join the Missouri River downstream from Gavins Point Dam. 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/


Contact
Eileen Williamson
402-996-3802
eileen.l.williamson@usace.army.mil

Release no. 19-040