The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers informed interested stakeholders earlier this month as to the status of reservoirs along the Missouri River, and future flooding prospects.
The runoff forecast for this year for the upper Missouri River basin is 61 million acre feet. Reservoir Regulation team leader Kevin Grode says this year’s runoff is on pace to tie the record for 2011.
John Remus, is the Basin Water Management Division Chief. He said during a conference call this month, “…life safety has been the priority of the team since March 2018.” Remus was asked during the course of the conference whether it would be beneficial to reduce the amount of water in the main pool reservoir. Remus did not directly answer the question, saying it would not be possible this year. When asked if it would be done some time in the future, he said “no”
Experts say they expect Gavin’s point releases to be held at 80,000 cfs thru the month of November, only to be stepped down to winter rates of 22,000 cfs by mid-December. Regardless, high release rates during the winter are usually not possible, because of freezing in the northern basins.
The issue of regulation was brought up in terms of percentage during the call. The flow of the Missouri River at St. Joseph is currently just over 50% from regulated sources.
By the time the water gets to Jefferson City the percentage of regulated flow drops to under 40%.
The longterm forcast still calls for up to twice the average runoff in the Missouri River basin for November and December, and wetter than normal conditions at least thru January.