High runoff continues in upper Missouri Basin | Prairie Public Broadcasting

High runoff continues in upper Missouri Basin

Nov 8, 2019

Credit US Army Corps of Engineers

The US Army Corps of Engineers says runoff continues to be high throughout most of the Missouri River Basin.

"2019 continues to be a very wet year throughout the basin," said Corps Missouri River Management Division director John Remus. "This has led to excessive runoff into the reservoirs and to the unregulated streams below."

Those unregulated streams include the James River in North and South Dakota.

"The system's status and operations are aimed at evacuating the water from the flood control zones in the reservoirs before the 2020 runoff season begins," Remus said during a conference call. "Our plan is to be as aggressive as we can this fall and next spring."

What does that mean for Garrison Dam, and the stretch of the river between Garrison and Oahe? 

"Garrison Reservoir is at elevation 1841.4 -- down .9 feet since the end of October," said the Corps' Mike Swenson. "Releases are forecast to remain at 48,000 cfs through mid-November, and will be gradually stepped down in the last part of November."

The Corps is also predicting flooding along the James River in both North and South Dakota.

The National Weather Service also says it is monitoring a potential winter storm, that could hit Montana, Wyoming and parts of the Dakotas early next week – and the weather service says that could bring an inch of moisture to the Upper Basin.