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Reduced releases from Gavins Point expected Friday

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Releases from Gavins Point Dam will be incrementally reduced to 20,000 cubic feet per second beginning today (March 19).  Releases should reach 20,000 cubic feet per second by Friday morning, March 20, and will be held there through the weekend, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today.

Recent storms and plains snowpack melt have led to increased discharges in the uncontrolled tributaries below Gavins Point Dam.  Stages in the lower Missouri River are forecasted to significantly increase due to these tributary flows.   The reduced releases from Gavins Point Dam will offset some of this increase.

“We are able to make these reductions due to the aggressive actions we took over the winter to maintain as much flood control storage as possible within the reservoir system,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri Basin Water Management Division.  “We will continue to monitor the basin conditions and make adjustments as needed.”

“We promised to do all we could to safely get the 2019 flood water evacuated from the system and be ready for 2020,” Remus added.  “Those efforts are now paying off as we can now reduce our releases in an effort to reduce stress on the fragile levees in the lower basin.”

While the flows are reduced at Gavins Point, the Omaha District will take advantage of the situation to inspect the dam’s spillway, weather permitting.

“There are no indications that there is a problem with the spillway, this is just a prudent dam safety measure following the extended high releases in 2019,” said John Bertino, Omaha District dam safety officer.

Weekly updates on basin conditions, reservoir levels and other topics of interest can be viewed here: https://go.usa.gov/xE6wa.

The three-week forecast is updated each Wednesday, or more frequently as needed, and is available here: http://go.usa.gov/xVgWr.

The forecast reservoir releases and elevations are not definitive. Additional precipitation, runoff conditions, or other circumstances could require additional adjustments to the reservoir release rates.