Oct. 10, 2019, 5:30 p.m.
The Army Corps of Engineers and National Weather Service held a call today for government leaders and levee operators about river conditions and long-range forecasts.
The Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of getting levees in the Missouri river system repaired. Some projects will be finished in the next few months, while others will last well into next year.
They are also working to clear flood storage at Gavin’s Point Dam. Releases there are currently at 80,000 cubic feet per second, when in a normal year they would be closer to 30,000. For winter, the corps plans to decrease releases to 20,000 cubic feet per second.
These preparations for the 2020 flood season are made more difficult by continued wet weather.
Kevin Low is with the Missouri Basin River Forecast Center.
“We have had precipitation across the entire Missouri River Basin with significant rainfall occurring over eastern Montana, all of North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, and across Iowa and into northern Missouri," Low said. "Some locations (are) receiving in excess of 400% of normal for this period of time.”
As temperatures fall across the region, some areas are already experiencing snow, which when temperatures rise again, will increase run-off in those areas.
Low says the weather will remain wet for the next few months.
“Unfortunately the long-range outlooks favor the odds of a wetter than normal condition remaining for the Missouri Basin at least through January,” Low said.
Increased run-off is made worse by already wet soil in many areas.