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Category: Water Management - Missouri River
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  • Gavins Point releases increased as downstream flows recede

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division increased releases from Gavins Point in late-May as tributaries downstream of Gavins Point receded. Releases from Gavins Point had been reduced to 20,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in mid-May to lessen flooding along the lower Missouri River due to widespread, heavy rainfall in parts of Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. Releases are expected to remain at the current rate of 33,000 cfs through June. The mainstem reservoir system began the 2017 runoff season with the full 16.3 million acre-feet (MAF) of flood control storage available. The total volume of water stored in the reservoir system is currently 60.5 MAF.
  • Gavins Point releases reduced to lessen downstream flooding

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division reduced releases from Gavins Point in early May. Downstream Missouri River and tributary flows increased due to widespread, heavy rainfall in parts of Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. “Rainfall events like we’ve seen recently can cause localized flooding downstream of the reservoir system. Gavins Point releases were reduced from 30,000 cfs to 21,000 cfs over several days to lesson downstream flooding,” said Jody Farhat, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. Releases from Gavins Point will be increased as downstream flows recede. “Flood risk reduction remains a primary consideration. While the risk of widespread flooding from upper basin runoff is low this year, floods can and will occur as a result of spring and summer thunderstorms, particularly along the lower Missouri River,” said Farhat. When possible, the Corps will utilize the available flood control space in the reservoirs to limit downstream river levels; however, the ability to significantly reduce flood risk along the lower Missouri River diminishes at locations further downstream due to the large uncontrolled drainage area and the travel time from Gavins Point Dam.
  • Missouri River public meeting in Pierre cancelled; rescheduled as webinar for April 18

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division cancelled the spring public meeting scheduled in Pierre, SD today, April 13, due to fog which prevented Corps officials from landing at the local airport. The meeting will be rescheduled as a webinar next Tuesday, April 18 at 1:00 CT.
  • April Missouri River update; spring public meetings to be held April 11-13

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division will hold five public meetings next week to update stakeholders on the planned operation of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System. The public meetings will include a presentation from the Corps regarding current basin conditions and plans for operating the reservoir system in 2017, followed by a question and answer session. There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to speak one-on-one with Corps officials before and after the meetings. The reservoir system began the 2017 runoff season at the base of the annual flood control pool, providing the full 16.3 million acre-feet (MAF) of flood control storage. The total volume of water stored in the reservoir system is currently 58.5 MAF. “System storage currently occupies 2.4 MAF of the 16.3 MAF flood control zone,” said Jody Farhat, chief of the Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Approximately 85 percent of the flood control storage remains available to capture runoff from the spring rainfall and mountain snowmelt.” All significant plains snowpack has melted.
  • February runoff above average; Public meetings scheduled for April 11-13

    Runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, was 2.4 million acre feet (MAF) during February, 219 percent of average. “Warm temperatures melted much of the plains snowpack that had accumulated throughout the winter in the upper Missouri River basin resulting in above average runoff during February,” said Jody Farhat, chief of the Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. Only small areas in central North Dakota have significant plains snowpack remaining. Areas of eastern Montana and central Wyoming have less than an inch of liquid content in their remaining snowpack, and little or no snow remains elsewhere in the Dakotas. “Runoff from plains snowmelt that would normally occur in March and April started early this year and some has already entered the reservoir system,” said Farhat. “Additionally, warm temperatures released water that had been locked up in river ice, contributing to higher than average February runoff.”
  • Reservoir system prepared for 2017 runoff season

    The full flood control capacity of the Missouri River mainstem reservoir system is available for the 2017 runoff season, according to the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Water Management Division. All 2016 stored flood waters were evacuated as of December 18, when the total volume stored in the reservoir system reached 56.1 million acre-feet (MAF). “The entire flood control capacity of the Mainstem Reservoir System stands ready to capture spring runoff, reducing flood risk while providing support to other authorized project purposes,” said Jody Farhat, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.