Nicole Shorney, a hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, says there’s no cause for concern.
“The 2018 calendar year runoff forecast is 26.6 million acre feet or 105% of average,” Shorney says. “Below-average runoff is forecast to continue in January however the moderate plains snowpack in Montana could cause above-average runoff during March and April for Fort Peck and Garrison.”
Joel Knofczynski, also a Corps engineer, says releases into the Missouri River have been holding unchanged for weeks.
“Releases from Gavins Point were held steady at 21,500 cubic feet per second during December,” Knofczynski says. “Releases will remain near this level in order to fully evacuate the flood storage before the start of the 2018 runoff season.”
Knofczynski says they have plenty of flood storage available now.
“On March 1st, which is typically near the start of the runoff season, the basic simulation shows system storage at 56.1 million acre feet,” he says. “This means that the reservoir system would start the runoff season at the base of the annual flood control zone and that all 16.3 million acre feet of flood control capacity will be available.”
River runoff usually begins in March and peaks in June.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton