After several days of heavy rain across the lower Missouri River basin, the amount of water released into the river is being reduced to help minimize flooding.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it began reducing the amount of water flowing into the Missouri River on Sunday because of concerns about flooding downstream. On Sunday, the Corps decreased the amount of water being released from Gavins Point Dam, located on the South Dakota-Nebraska state line, from 24,000 cubic feet per second to 12,000 cubic feet per second.
“… that will help the peak stages on the river in some locations and also shorten the duration of the high flows,” the Corps’ Jody Farhat said.
By doing this, the Corps hopes to reduce the peak stages of the river in some locations and shorten the duration of high flows. Farhat says the ability to utilize the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System to prevent flooding is greatly diminished in mid-Missouri because it is so far from the dam.
“When you get as far downstream as mid-Missouri, the ability of the Mainstem Reservoir System to affect the peak river stages is greatly diminished because you’re between 6 and 8 days of travel time away from the dam,” Farhat said. “So when we make a release reduction today, it doesn’t reach your area until 6 to 8 days from now.”
The Corps is also reducing the amount of water released from Fort Randall dam in South Dakota. Farhat says the reductions should alleviate some downstream flooding along the Missouri River.