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.