OMAHA, Neb. --
Water releases from Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, S.D., have been increased to 50,000 cubic feet per second and will be increased to 60,000 cfs, the agency announced today.
The increased releases were necessary due to continued rising inflow into the Gavins Point reservoir.
Gavins Point Dam releases were increased from 27,000 cfs to 32,000 cfs at midnight Wednesday. A second increase from 32,000 cfs to 37,000 cfs was made earlier this morning. Additional increases are likely to be made Friday, depending on the inflow.
The runoff in the drainage area between Fort Randall and Gavins Point Dam is very high, and continues to increase, due to rapid plains snowmelt and heavy rain on frozen, wet soils in the Niobrara River basin. The area directly upstream Gavins Point continues to receive heavy rain.
"We know there are communities experiencing flooding, or nearing that condition, along the Missouri downstream of our dams,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division in Omaha. “We are managing releases from Gavins Point as judiciously as we can in order to lessen the impact downstream.”
There is very little storage capacity behind Gavins Point Dam, forcing the Corps to release much of the water that enters the reservoir, according to Remus.
Releases from Fort Randall Dam, the Missouri main stem dam immediately upstream of Gavins Point Dam, were reduced to 0 cfs Wednesday and are expected to remain at 0 cfs for the next several days.
"We strongly advise everyone along the Missouri River to maintain awareness of local conditions and changing river levels," said Remus.
Corps districts in Omaha and Kansas City have activated their emergency operation centers to support local communities and emergency managers with local flood responses. Impact to local infrastructure, to include levees, should be reported to local emergency officials.
The Corps is working the National Weather Service to monitor conditions. The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings along the Missouri River and its tributaries from southeastern South Dakota to St. Louis. More information on those warnings is available at https://www.weather.gov/mbrfc/
The Corps' lower river forecast, which is updated each morning, is available on its website at: http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/pdfs/GRFT.pdf
Additional information will is also available on our weekly briefing at: http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/pdfs/weeklyupdate.pdf