Kansas City, Mo. --
The Kansas City District wants all stakeholders - public, levee districts, local and state authorities - to pay close attention to conditions on the Missouri River. Water levels are high now in many locations and are forecasted to get higher.
We have high concern for overtopping of non-federal levees in the northern reaches of our district – from Rulo, Neb. to Kansas City, Mo. over the next several days due to heavy runoff from rain and melting ice. We will be closely monitoring federal levees, but none are predicted to overtop at this time. It takes three to four days for water from Yankton, S.D. to reach our portion of the Missouri River.
Water releases from Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, S.D., have been increased to 50,000 cubic feet per second and will be increased to 60,000 cfs, the Northwestern Division, U.S Army Corps of Engineers, our headquarters, announced today. The increased releases were necessary due to continued rising inflow into the Gavins Point reservoir. Additional increases are likely to be made Friday, depending on the inflow.
The runoff in the drainage area between Fort Randall and Gavins Point Dam is very high, and continues to increase, due to rapid plains snowmelt and heavy rain on frozen, wet soils in the Niobrara River basin. The area directly upstream Gavins Point continues to receive heavy rain.
There is very little storage capacity behind Gavins Point Dam, forcing the Corps to release much of the water that enters the reservoir, according to John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division in Omaha.
"We are increasing releases from Gavins Point as slowly as we can in order to lessen the impact downstream," said Remus. "The Gavins Point reservoir has a small amount of flood storage and we are maximizing all that storage," added Remus.
Under Public Law 84-99 the U.S. Corps of Engineers can provide supplemental support to state and local entities in the form of technical and direct assistance in response to flood emergencies. The safety of the public is the Army Corps of Engineers top priority.
The Kansas City District will maintain close communication and coordination with its federal, state and local emergency response partners, and keep the public informed.
The Kansas City District is a team of dedicated professionals with a strong heritage and proven results who, in collaboration with our partners, proudly serve in the Heartland providing leadership, technical excellence, and innovative solutions to the nation's most complex problems.