The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will start reducing the water flowing out of a Missouri River dam in about two weeks.
The Corps has been releasing water at the rate of 160,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) from the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota. That will be reduced to 150,000 CFS on August 1st.
Gary Brown, the emergency manager for Woodbury County, Iowa, where Sioux City is located, says it’s not a big difference, but it’s a start.
“All the ground around this is saturated now and you’ve got to bring it down relatively slowly so that the moisture kind of sponges out of the soil and the soil just doesn’t turn into liquid and run back into the river,” Brown says. “You know, they’re going to do everything they can to get this river back in its channel as soon as they can.”
Brown doesn’t expect much of a drop in the Missouri River level at Sioux City when that adjustment is made upstream on August 1st.
“There’s a lot of water laying out there that’s out of the channel and that water, some of it, will begin to flow back to the channel,” Brown says.
Brown expects some pumps will be used to divert water from low-lying areas back into the river’s normal channel.