Water releases Gavins Point Dam are going to be increased due to continued rising water into the dam’s reservoir.
The Army Corps of Engineers said in a release March 14 that they have already increased releases to 50,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and will be increasing it further to 60,000 cfs. Depending on inflow, they expect to increase the releases March 15. Releases were increased at midnight from 27,000 cfs to 32,000 cfs. They made a second increase from 32,000 cfs to 37,000 cfs earlier Thursday morning.
“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.”
The Corps said that runoff in the drainage area between Fort Randall and Gavins Point Dam is very high. Due to the snow melt and heavy rain, it continues to increase. Releases from Fort Randall Dam, which is immediately upstream of Gavins Point Dam, were reduced to 0 cfs March 13. They expect to keep it there 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.
Gavins Point Dam releases were increased from 27,000 cfs to 32,000 cfs at midnight March 13. 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.
Emergency operation centers have been activated by Corps districts in Omaha and Kansas City. This is to support local communities and emergency managers with flooding. Any impact to local infrastructure should be reported to local authorities.