Gavins Point Dam releases being lowered for winter

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Release are being steadily reduced to 27,000 cfs, while normal winter rates are between 12,000 and 17,000 cfs.

Gavins Point Dam Opens Up Spillway_6679931417149918462

YANKTON, S.D. (KCAU) – Releases at Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota are being steadily lowered to winter rates

As of Thursday, release at Gavins Point are 57,000 cubic feet per second (cfs)The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they began lowering releases by 3,000 cfs every day since Nov. 30 and will continue until they reach 27,000 cfs. Releases will then expected to remain there for the rest of December.

In January, releases will be reduced to 25,000 cfs and then remain there for the rest of winter.

Normal winter releases at Gavins Point Dam average between 12,000 and 17,000 cfs. The Corps said the higher releases are so that they can continue to empty water from the 2019 runoff season still in storage.

“Water remaining in flood control storage zones will lead to increased flood risk in 2020. The higher-than-average releases will benefit municipal and industrial water intakes below Gavins Point Dam, which can be impacted by low water levels during periods of ice formation,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.

As of the beginning of December, there was 1.4 MAF of water still remaining in the 16.3-MAF flood control zone in the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir

November runoff above Sioux City was 95% more than normal at 2.0 million acre feet (MAF). The runoff for 2019 is forecast to be 60.4 MAF, 238% the average, coming in second only to 2011’s runoff of 61. MAF.

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