The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is increasing releases from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota in response to increased runoff into the Missouri River above the dam.
Gavins Point Dam releases were increased from 17,000 cubic feet per second to 22,000 cfs at noon Wednesday. A second increase from 22,000 cfs to 27,000 cfs is planned for later in the day. Releases may be further increased over the next few days, depending on the extent of inflows into Gavins Point.
"The increase in Gavins Point releases is in response to heavy rains and melting snow in the 16,000-square mile drainage area between Fort Randall Dam and Gavins Point Dam," says John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Missouri River Basin Water Management Division based in Omaha.
Releases from Fort Randall Dam, the Missouri main stem dam immediately upstream of Gavins Point Dam, were shut off Wednesday morning.
"Even with releases from Fort Randall shut off, the runoff from the heavy rainfall and melting snow, primarily in the Niobrara River basin and its small tributaries, will quickly fill the small amount of flood storage in the Gavins Point reservoir," Remus says.
The Corps is working the National Weather Service to monitor conditions. The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings along the Missouri River and its tributaries from southeastern South Dakota to St. Louis.