News Releases

Weekly Missouri Basin flood response update for key stakeholders – 7/25

Northwestern Division
Published July 25, 2019
The breach of levee 575-B-I was closed this afternoon.

The breach of levee 575-B-I was closed this afternoon. This closure stops the inflows through this breach and will allow for follow-on construction activities to increase the level of flood risk management to approximately the 4% annual chance exceedance (25-yr) level for this section of the L-575 levee system until the system can be fully rehabilitated.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers emergency and water management officials held a call July 25 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.

A recording of that call can be accessed here:

It is also available via Podcast at:

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.

John LeGue from the Missouri Basin River Forecast Center, National Weather Service, provided an update on river stages along the Missouri River and its tributaries.

Rivers and tributaries in flood stage include:

  • Missouri River from Nebraska City, Nebraska to the mouth at St. Louis, Missouri (Except reaches from Atchison to Kansas City)
  • South Dakota: James River, Big Sioux River
  • Iowa: Big Sioux River
  • Kansas: Fancy Creek and Big Blue River above Tuttle Creek Reservoir (backwater flooding)
  • Missouri: Osage River

LaGue said the basin should fairly remain dry over the next week with a cold front moving through bringing a chance of storms in South Dakota on Sunday and additional rain across eastern Nebraska, Iowa, eastern Kansas, and northern Missouri with averages less than an inch but up to 2 inches in some places.

The National Weather Service provides official river stage and weather forecasts.  Its website -- -- 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 July 24, three-week regulation forecast with projected reservoir elevations and release forecasts through mid-August. The three-week regulation forecast is updated each Wednesday or more frequently if runoff conditions warrant it.

Mike Swenson, from the Missouri River Water Management Division noted that recent rain had returned Oahe Dam and Reservoir back to its exclusive flood control zone. There were no significant release changes from Missouri River Mainstem Reservoirs announced.

System storage still has not shown a steady or significant decline. Releases from Gavins Point Dam will remain at 70,000 cubic feet per second into mid-August to continue evacuating flood water.

Eric Shumate, chief of hydrology and hydraulics in the Kansas City District provided an update on the status of the reservoirs on the Kansas River and the Osage River. This information is available on their website at:

“As a whole, the four reservoirs in the Lower Kansas River Basin have 58% of their flood control storage occupied, down from 71% this time last week,” said Shumate.

The Osage River Basin reservoirs are currently holding 2.5 MAF of stored flood water, which is also down from last week. Notably, Truman Reservoir currently has 47% of its flood control storage occupied, down from 58% last week. Releases from Truman dam are 45,000 cubic feet per second today and as downstream flows on the Missouri River at Hermann, Missouri allow, releases will be increased to 50,000 cfs.

Michael Dulin, an emergency management specialist from the Kansas City District provided an update on the status of flood response efforts and levee conditions. They keep this information updated on their website at:

To date, the Kansas City District levee rehab team has received a total 104 Requests for levee rehabilitation assistance,

15 have been approved to enter the engineering and design phase shortly.

Matt Krajewski, chief of the Readiness Branch for the Omaha District provided an update on the status of post flood levee inspections and rehabilitation. To date, the district has completed 10 initial breach closures within the Omaha District’s area of operations, with 41 remaining.

Krajewski announced that the breach at L575b was closed today. Flows were making the closure of this breach difficult and achieving this closure will allow the next phase of repairs to raise the levee height to 25% of its pre-flood height.

Omaha District levee status information is updated on their website at:


Eileen Williamson

Release no. 19-052