Rain causing changed in releases from Missouri River dams in SD

Increased rainfall over parts of South Dakota in the past few days are causing increased inflows at Fort Randall and coming into Gavins Point from the Niobrara River. To offset some of these inflows, release adjustments are being made at Oahe, Big Bend and Fort Randall Dams.

“Today’s updated 3-week forecast reflects the increased rainfall over parts of South Dakota that has fallen in the past few days. We have increased inflows primarily at Fort Randall and coming into Gavins Point from the Niobrara River,” said John Remus chief of the Missouri River Water Management Division.

The following changes will take place later today (Wed.):

  • Oahe: Releases will drop from 57,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 49,000 cfs.
  • Big Bend: Releases will drop from 54,000 cfs to 48,000 cfs.
  • Fort Randall: Releases will drop from 49,000 cfs to 30,000 cfs.
  • Gavins Point: Releases will remain at 70,000 cfs. Pool elevation will increase to up to 1209.4 feet into the exclusive flood control storage zone.

“These reductions are to offset some of the inflows we are seeing and to reduce the need for increasing releases from Gavins Point Dam. Once the peak inflows have past, we will make adjustments to return to the release rates we have been seeing over the past few weeks,” said Remus.

Current projections show the releases will return to previous rates late next week. However conditions on the ground may require further release adjustments. “We are continuing to monitor conditions and will make adjustments as necessary,” said Remus.