Parts of Nebraska that are desperate for rain may not get it anytime soon.
The National Weather Service is predicting a warmer-than-average weather pattern in the lower Missouri River basin, including Nebraska, through June.
South Dakota State climatologist Dennis Todey says he doesn’t expect rainfall to be excessive.
“From Montana to North Dakota and northern South Dakota, a decent chance for above-average precipitation chances,” Todey says. “As we look in the southern part of the basin, the near-normal precipitation is expected.”
Todey’s comments came during a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conference call. Warm, dry weather has allowed the Corps to inspect Missouri River dams following last year’s flood.
The Corps hopes to have all Missouri River levee repair projects complete by the end of this year. Last summer’s Missouri River flooding caused significant damage in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.
The Corps’ Omaha District has 11 projects underway, with $99-million in repairs complete.
Brett Budd, chief of the Omaha District’s System Restoration Team, says some already-repaired areas need additional reinforcement.
Budd says, “We anticipate phase two contracts will be awarded in the coming weeks for the Omaha Flood Protection project, levee L-624/627 at Council Bluffs, Iowa, levee L-611/614 south of Council Bluffs, Iowa, L-575 near Percival and Hamburg, Iowa, L-550 near Rock Port, Missouri, and L-536 south of Rock Port, Missouri.”
Releases from Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota, are at 31-thousand cubic feet per second. Last year at this time, releases from there were at 110-thousand C-F-S, and the Missouri River was more than five feet above flood stage.