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Increased fall releases from Rathbun Lake cancelled

Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Sept. 24, 2019
The Chariton River shown just below the outlet works at Rathbun Lake near Centerville, Iowa, August 13, 2019.

The Chariton River shown just below the outlet works at Rathbun Lake near Centerville, Iowa, August 13, 2019.

In response to concerns over ongoing levee assessments and repairs along the lower Chariton River and the Missouri River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District will not conduct the previously announced increased releases from Rathbun Lake.

The Lower Chariton River experienced record stages in spring 2019 when significant rain fell downstream of Rathbun Lake. Record-setting precipitation has continued throughout the summer in much of the Chariton and Missouri River basins, keeping water levels higher than average.

The Chariton River Water Control Manual was revised in 2016 primarily to accelerate the evacuation of water stored in the flood control pool at Rathbun Lake, but also includes new flexibilities for managing lake elevations and downstream flows.

This change allows for a yearly request from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for increased releases in the fall to potentially benefit the Sedan Bottoms, Rebel’s Cove, and private land owners all along the Chariton River who participate within the wetland mitigation program, annually.

The releases are intended by design and intent to be beneficial along the Chariton River and unnoticeable along the Missouri River. Following consultation with the agencies and a public comment period, analysis of the potential releases are performed as determined by the water control manual to minimize any unintended damages downstream.

Again, the Corps will not make the releases this year.

Questions regarding this matter can be directed to Rathbun Lake Operations Manager at 641-647-2464 or the Kansas City District Water Management Office at 816-389-3545.

Kansas City District Public Affairs
Kansas City, Mo.

Release no. 19-063