Missouri River Water Management News

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Releases remain steady at Jamestown, Pipestem Dams

Published Nov. 12, 2019

 Updated forecasts have indicated the river downstream of Jamestown and Pipestem Dams should not see significant ice formation for at least another week.  To release as much flood storage as possible, combined releases will be held at 1,400 cubic feet per second until three days before the new forecasted date for ice formation. 

To mitigate the risk of freeze-up ice jams or other ice-related flooding, the target combined release rate before ice sets in is 800 cfs.  Three days before expected ice formation releases will be reduced 200 cfs per day to a combined release of 800 cfs.

Updated reservoir forecasts indicate combined winter releases are not expected to exceed 850 cfs; however, additional precipitation, earlier than expected ice formation on the river, or higher than expected baseflow could necessitate higher release levels.  Ice conditions in the entire James River basin will be continually evaluated throughout the winter.  The Corps of Engineers will operate to minimize the risk of ice-related flooding, and adjustments to the releases will be made as needed.

Jamestown Dam is currently at a pool elevation of 1442.0 feet, about 31% into the flood pool, and rising.  Inflows into the reservoir peaked Oct. 30 and are dropping, currently near 800 cfs.  Reservoir releases are 700 cfs.

Pipestem Dam is currently at a pool elevation of 1469.9 ft, about 34% into the flood pool, and dropping.  The pool elevation peaked Oct. 29 at 1475.0 feet, which was 43% into the flood pool.  Inflows are near 325 cfs, and releases are 700 cfs.

The Corps of Engineers is coordinating with relevant agencies in North and South Dakota.

Release no. 19-131