Army Corps Of Engineers Host Missouri River Management Public Meeting Tuesday

(KCCR) — Officials from the U-S Army Corps of Engineers returned to the Pierre-Fort Pierre area Monday to make-up a missed meeting from last week. The recent blizzard forced the Corp to cancel its Fort Pierre stop until the weather improved. John Remus the Corps’ Chief of the Missouri River Water Management office took a question from U-S Senator Mike Rounds, concerned about the way releases are being made…

“You really don’t have any room being created in the upper-level basins.  What would stop you from being able to maintain that 55,000 for an extended period of time?”  “As Mike and Kevin said, we’re evacuating water to create that flexibility.  Both Oahe and Fort Randall have turned over, over the weekend, they’re going down slowly.  We’d like to get a little bit more room in both of those to provide us some flexibility, but what would cause us to do that  would be if there was a significant event downstream that we could actually influence.”
Rounds cut to the chase when asking if residents need to make flood preparation plans…

“And what…what would they be looking at….” “That’s another reason why we’re trying to create the room in reservoir, so we wouldn’t have to do that, or we would lessen the likelihood of that happening.”  “And that…the only way you could do that is by maintaining 55,000…” “Maintaining a good flow out of there.  We may cut back if the summer drys up, right now, that’s our plan for the next several weeks.”
Others wanted to know why more water can be pushed through the system in the winter…

“Downstream…people down at Nebraska City, Nebraska…they see their river drop all winter and they said…Why’d they drop it in the winter, we don’t care how high it pushes?  We say we can’t get the water out of Garrison and Oahe primarily in the winter time because you have ice everywhere.”  “You can’t even suck it through the stilling basin or the…”  “It’s the capacity of the river downstream.  If we try to squeeze too much it will bust the ice, then we’re we have an ice dam.  And then…we’re in really bad shape here in Pierre, Fort Pierre, or Bismarck and Mandan.  Then…then we stop evacuating water almost completely.”
Remus says the high level of the Oahe Reservoir can be dropped once the smaller pool at Fort Randall Dam can evacuate more water downstream. To allow for run off entering the Missouri River earlier this year, releases at Fort Randall were completely stopped.