The latest analysis from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicates much of the midwestern United States remains in an various stages of drought. Spokesperson Monique Farmer:
Last month’s runoff into the Missouri River was 78 percent of normal. “So our system inflows were 2.3 million acre feet. Our soil conditions did improve slightly in the basin,” said Farmer, “Right now, however, we are still experiencing drought conditions that are slightly improved and we’re just continuing to monitor basin conditions.”
Farmer cautions that, even though the area is experiencing drought conditions, flooding could still become an issue.
Barge traffic is currently restricted, and the Corps will do a second storage check for Navigation on July 1st. “What that would tell us is whether we would continue with our minimum service level releases,” said Farmer, “What that basically means is that we are currently, right now releasing enough water to provide an eight-foot deep by 300-foot wide navigation channel. So navigators have been required to load their barges lighter than what we typically see when we have a full-service navigation level.” Shortening the season may also become a requirement.
More information is available at www.nwo.usace.army.mil.