OMAHA, Nebraska --
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers emergency and water management officials held a call June 27 to communicate to Midwest Congressional representatives, Tribal, state and local government officials (including levee sponsors and emergency managers) an update of current runoff conditions, system storage and a status of flooding response and recovery activities.
The Kansas City District will hold its next stakeholder update on July 2.
A recording of that call can be accessed here: https://www.dvidshub.net/audio/58605/missouri-river-basin-water-management-6-27. Because of issues that occurred with the call on June 27, we have also provided the recording of the June 28 call held by the Kansas City District. https://www.dvidshub.net/audio/58604/missouri-river-basin-kansas-city-district-update-6-28.
It is also available via Podcast at: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id508457675.
All of the information provided on this call is accessible through the Missouri Basin “Web App.” The information at the links in the web app is the most up-to-date information from the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. https://go.usa.gov/xmtYU.
Kevin Low from the Missouri Basin River Forecast Center, National Weather Service, provided an update on river stages along the Missouri River and its tributaries.
Low noted ongoing flooding on the James River in South Dakota; the Big Sioux River in Iowa; in Kansas the Big Blue and Black Vermillion rivers are experiencing backwater flooding and the Republican, Smoky Hill and Marais des Cygnes rivers are flooding; in Missouri the Grand, Osage, and Sac rivers as well as Wakenda Creek are flooding; and along the Missouri River, flooding is occurring from Nebraska City, Nebraska to the mouth at St. Louis, Missouri, with the exception of the Kansas City reach.
“Looking at the next 7 days of anticipated precipitation, there are on-again, off-again chances for showers and thunderstorms across much of the basin. Only Kansas and southern Nebraska have little to no precipitation expected during the next 7 days. But the saving grace is that the rain is spread out over the 7 days. Generally, the 7-day areal totals should be 2 inches or less in most regions,” said Low.
The National Weather Service provides official river stage and weather forecasts. Its website -- www.weather.gov/mbrfc -- provides river observations and forecasts; weather observations and forecasts, and additional information including the spring flood outlook under items of seasonal interest. The Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division shares all release forecasts with the National Weather Service for incorporation into their forecast products.
The Missouri River Water Management Division provided an update on the June 26, three-week regulation forecast with projected reservoir elevations and release forecasts through early July. The three-week regulation forecast is updated each Wednesday or more frequently if runoff conditions warrant it.
Key points from Mike Swenson, power production team lead for the Missouri River Water Management Division included that releases from Gavins Point Dam were reduced to 70,000 cubic feet per second on June 27. He also noted that the Oahe and Fort Randall reservoirs are continuing to decline but pool levels at both remain high, the Garrison Reservoir is 1.7 feet above exclusive flood control zone, flows were increased from Garrison Dam to 46,000 cubic feet per second on June 24, and Fort Peck reservoir is nearing its peak pool elevation.
An update from John Remus on June 28 included that much of the mountain snowpack has melted and is still arriving in the Fort Peck and Garrison reservoirs but the snowmelt inflows are beginning to decline.
Tom Brady, program manager for the Northwestern Division levee program under PL 84-99, emphasized the Corps commitment to provide recovery support under Public Law 84-99 authorities noting the Omaha and Kansas City district’s aggressive efforts to assess damages, provide initial and temporary repairs, and that work would continue until all repairs are complete.
The Omaha District provided an update on the status of post flood levee inspections and rehabilitation. They keep this information updated on their website at: https://go.usa.gov/xmtYB.
Noteworthy items from Matt Krajewski, chief of Emergency Management for the Omaha District, included that, one of the four breaches along levee L601 near river mile 583 was expected to be closed last week but construction was delayed and the closure is expected this weekend. Completion of the haul road to the levee will allow more equipment to be mobilized to the site.
Chris Purzer, chief of water management in the Kansas City District provided an update on the status of the reservoirs on the Kansas River and the Osage River. Releases from Tuttle Creek, Milford and Perry have been gradually increased as Missouri River stages decline. This information is available on their website at: https://go.usa.gov/xmhrd.
“We are primarily focused on reservoirs in the Lower Kansas Basin and the Osage Basin. We still have a significant amount of water stored in the 10 reservoirs located within these two river Basins,” said Purzer.
“While at the current pool elevations, a single rainfall event can still fill any of these flood control pools and push one or more of these reservoirs into surcharge operations,” Purzer added.
Jud Kneuvean, chief of Emergency Management with the Kansas City District provided an update on the status of their flood response efforts and levee conditions. They keep this information updated on their website at: https://go.usa.gov/xmtYD.
Since mid-March the Kansas City District has received 83 requests for levee rehabilitation assistance.
“We are performing damage assessments as conditions allow. We currently expect that we will have all damage assessments completed by the end of September. Due to the number of levee systems that are damaged it may take up to two years to restore all of the levee systems to the condition that existed prior to the current flood event. We are working closely with levee sponsors and other state and federal agencies to advance levee repairs as quickly as possible,” said Kneuvean.