Missouri River flood | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Missouri River flood

High runoff continues in upper Missouri Basin

Nov 8, 2019
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.

Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing an update to the water control plan for Lake Audubon.

The Corps’ concern is the Snake Creek Embankment – on US Highway 83 between Lake Audubon and Lake Sakakawea.

Potential problems with the embankment emerged after the drought in the early 2000s.

"During that time, we saw a record level of difference between the water surfaces of Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon," said Corps project manager Matt Nelson. He said the water pressure from Lake Audubon on the embankment was much more than the dam was designed for.

The big 2011 Missouri River flood caused riverbank erosion – and that affected the Double Ditch Indian Village, north of Bismarck.

The site is an important one for the Mandan Indians, in terms of trade on the Missouri.

"The following year -- 2012 -- we noticed the beginning of the slumping," said Fern Swenson with the State Historical Society of North Dakota. "At that point, we knew we needed to contact some people and seek some funding, in order for us to be able to stabilize this very important site.