OMAHA, Neb. (KCAU) – Officials said April’s runoff into the upper Missouri River Basin was very low due to dry conditions through the month.
They said that April was the 9th driest in all of the 123 years of record keepings, saying runoff was only 44% of average. The runoff forcast for the calendar year has been updated to be 69% of average at 17.8 million acre-feet.
John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’, Missouri River Basin Water Management Division, said that the the dry month, drought conditions and below-average mountain snowpack is causing the year’s runofff forecast to be significantly lower.
“Based on this forecast, the May reservoir monthly studies indicate reduced flow support for navigation during the second half of the navigation season and a 12,000-cfs Gavins Point winter release rate.” Remus said.
He is asking everyone to prepare for lower river levels later in the summer and going into fall and winter.
In the Annual Flood Control and Multiple Use Zone, system storage is currently 55.3 MAF. It is expected to remain in the Carryover Multiple Use Zone during 2021.
The current release rate at Gavins Point Dam at Yankton is 29,000 cubic feet per secon. The end-of-April resevoir level was at 1,206.5 feet. it will continue to provide full-service flow support through July 1.
The power plants in the reservoir system generated 767 million kWh of electricity in April.