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Corps of Engineers: Missouri River releases to remain high

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

The US Army Corps of Engineers says flows from the upstream dams on the Missouri River system will remain high, for a while, to make room for spring runoff.

Outflows from the Garrison Dam are at 48,000 cubic feet per second. That’s about double the normal releases.

"We may even equal the record runoff of 2011," said Corps Missouri Basin Water Management Division Chief John Renus. "We still have a lot of water in the reservoir that we want to evacuate before next spring."

The Corps’s goal is to get the reservoirs down before spring runoff starts.

"We need to get the majority of that out before the river ices over," Renus said. "We're going to be pushing quite a bit of water out over the next six weeks."

Renus said he’s confident in the Corps’ plan to do that.

"We want to get the system in shape for 2020, because with the wet soil conditions we have, we're probably going to look at higher than average runoff next year," Renus said. "That depends on what Mother Nature throws us this winter."

The Corps held a public meeting in Bismarck Tuesday to discuss its river management plan.

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