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    2020 runoff forecast remains above average; Public meetings set for April 6-9 and April 14

    MISSOURI RIVER MAINSTEM RESERVOIR DATA

    Photo By Eileen Williamson | Missouri River reservoir pool elevations and storage changes for February 2020.... read more read more

    OMAHA, NE, UNITED STATES

    03.05.2020

    Story by Eileen Williamson 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division

    OMAHA, NE – Gavins Point releases were decreased from 38,000 cubic feet per second to 35,000 cfs this week as tributaries downstream of Gavins Point began to rise due to the melting of the plains snowpack in South Dakota.

    The potential for above average runoff in the upper basin, coupled with continued high river stages on many of the uncontrolled tributaries downstream of the reservoir system, increases the potential for flooding, particularly in the lower river.

    “Because additional adjustments to Gavins Point releases may be necessary, I encourage all interested parties to check the Missouri River Basin Water Management and the National Weather Service websites daily for the most up-to-date information on system conditions and forecast river stages,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.

    Current conditions, including soil moisture, plains and mountain snowpack, as well as long-term temperature and precipitation outlooks forecast runoff to be 36.9 million acre-feet, 143% of average, for the upper Missouri River basin above Sioux City, Iowa for 2020, Average annual runoff for the upper basin is 25.8 MAF. The runoff forecast is updated monthly, and more often if basin conditions warrant.

    As of March 3, the total volume of water stored in the System is 56.4 MAF, occupying 0.3 MAF of the 16.3 MAF combined flood control storage zones. System storage reached 56.0 MAF on Jan. 22, 0.1 MAF below the base of the combined flood control zone.

    Navigation:
    Current studies indicate that flow support for Missouri River navigation will be above full service levels for the first half of the 2020 season, which begins on April 1 at the mouth. Full-service flow support is generally sufficient to provide a 9-foot-deep by 300-foot-wide channel. The actual service level will be based on the total volume of water stored in the System on March 15, in accordance with the guidelines in the Master Manual. Flow support for the second half of the navigation season, as well as navigation season length, will be based on the actual July 1 System storage. Full-service navigation flow support is expected at the dates and locations shown below.

    Sioux City, IA : March 23
    Omaha, NE : March 25
    Nebraska City, NE : March 26
    Kansas City, MO : March 28
    Mouth near St. Louis, MO : April 1

    Mountain Snowpack:
    Mountain snowpack accumulation continues and is slightly above average in the Fort Peck and Garrison Dam reaches. The mountain snowpack normally peaks near April 15. The mountain snowpack graphics can be viewed here: https://go.usa.gov/xE6wT.

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

    Water management calls include an update from the National Weather Service’s Missouri Basin River Forecast Center, an update on the Missouri River mainstem reservoir system operations, and updates on the ongoing and planned flood recovery efforts in both the Omaha and Kansas City districts. The next call for 2020 will be held Thursday, March 5 for Congressional delegations; Tribes; state, county and local government officials, levee and drainage districts; and the media. Calls will be recorded in their entirety and made available to the public on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System at www.dvidshub.net/unit/usace-nwd.

    Spring Public Meetings:
    Eight public meetings will be conducted throughout the basin April 6-9 and 14. The purpose of these meetings is to update the region on current hydrologic conditions and the planned operation of the mainstem reservoir system during the coming months. Meeting times and locations are listed below.

    Monday, April 6 – Fort Peck, Montana
    Start time: 10:30 a.m. (MDT)
    Fort Peck Interpretative Center
    Lower Yellowstone Rd.

    Tuesday, April 7 – Bismarck, North Dakota
    Start time: 9 a.m. (CDT)
    Bismarck State College, National Energy Center of Excellence (NECE), Bldg. 15, Rm 304
    1200 Schafer Street

    Tuesday, April 7 – Fort Pierre, South Dakota
    Start time: 2 p.m. (CDT)
    Casey Tibbs Conference Center
    210 Verendrye Drive

    Wednesday, April 8 – Smithville, Missouri
    Start time: 11 a.m. (CDT)
    Paradise Point Golf Course
    18212 Golf Course Rd.

    Wednesday, April 8 – Peru, Nebraska
    Start time: 6 p.m. (CDT)
    Peru State College Performing Arts Center
    600 Hoyt Street

    Thursday, April 9 – Sioux City, Iowa
    Start time: 11 a.m. (CDT)
    Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center
    300 3rd Street

    Tuesday, April 14 – Jefferson City, Missouri
    Start time: 9 a.m. (CDT)
    Capitol Plaza Hotel
    415 West McCarty Street

    Tuesday, April 14 – St. Louis, Missouri
    Start time: 2 p.m. (CDT)
    VUE 17
    1034 S. Brentwood Blvd, #1700

    Reservoir Forecasts:
    • Gavins Point Dam
    o Average releases past month – 34,800 cfs
    o Current release rate – 35,000 cfs (as of Mar 3)
    o Forecast release rate – 35,000 cfs
    o End-of-February reservoir level – 1206.1 feet
    o Forecast end-of-March reservoir level – 1206.1 feet
    o Notes: Releases will remain at 35,000 cfs in March, basin conditions permitting.

    • Fort Randall Dam
    o Average releases past month – 30,000 cfs
    o End-of-February reservoir level – 1343.7 feet (down 0.4 foot from January)
    o Forecast end-of-March reservoir level – 1354.3 feet
    o Notes: Releases will be adjusted as necessary to maintain the desired reservoir elevation at Gavins Point.

    • Big Bend Dam
    o Average releases past month – 26,100 cfs
    o Forecast average release rate – 30,100 cfs
    o Forecast reservoir level – 1420.5 feet

    • Oahe Dam
    o Average releases past month – 25,100 cfs
    o Forecast average release rate – 30,300 cfs
    o End-of-February reservoir level – 1308.2 feet (rising 1.0 foot during February)
    o Forecast end-of-March reservoir level – 1610.7 feet

    • Garrison Dam
    o Average releases past month – 24,900 cfs
    o Current release rate – 24,500 cfs
    o Forecast average release rate – 23,000 cfs
    o End-of-February reservoir level – 1837.9 feet (falling 0.1 foot during February)
    o Forecast end-of-March reservoir level – 1839.5 feet

    • Fort Peck Dam
    o Average releases past month – 12,300 cfs
    o Current release rate – 10,000 cfs
    o Forecast average release rate – reduce to 7,500 cfs on 7 March
    o End-of-February reservoir level – 2234.9 feet (down 0.4 foot from January)
    o Forecast end-of-March reservoir level – 2235.9 feet

    The forecast reservoir releases and elevations discussed above are not definitive. Additional precipitation, lack of precipitation or other circumstances could cause adjustments to the reservoir release rates.

    Hydropower:
    The six mainstem power plants generated 855 million kWh of electricity in February. Typical energy generation for February is 619 million kWh. The power plants are projected to generate 11.8 billion kWh of electricity this year, compared to the long-term average of 9.4 billion kWh.

    To view the detailed three-week release forecast for the mainstem dams, go to http://go.usa.gov/xVgWr.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.05.2020
    Date Posted: 03.05.2020 11:02
    Story ID: 364537
    Location: OMAHA, NE, US 

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