With above-normal snowpack in the mountains of Montana and Wyoming, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is getting the Missouri River reservoir system ready for expected runoff this spring.
Kevin Stamm, with the Corps’ water management office in Omaha, says they expect runoff to be higher than normal, but only slightly.
“The 2018 calendar year runoff forecast is 26.4-million acre feet which is 104% of average,” Stamm says. “Above average runoff is forecast to continue in February. In March and April, the plains snowpack in Montana is forecast to cause above-average runoff, however, drought conditions in the Dakotas will likely cause below-average runoff in the lower region.”
Corps engineer Joel Knofczynski says they have already hit their flood storage goals.
“On January 15th, the reservoir system storage reached 56.1-million acre feet which is at the base of the annual flood control zone,” Knofczynski says. “This means that all of the stored 2017 flood waters have been evacuated from the system.”
The Corps says releases from Gavins Point Dam, the lowest on the system, will stay at about 18-thousand cubic feet per second for the rest of winter, but can be adjusted as needed.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton