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Jamestown and Pipestem Reservoirs snowmelt update

Published May 3, 2013
An Aerial Photo of Pipestem Dam & Lake

The Pipestem Dam and Reservoir located near Jamestown, North Dakota.

OMAHA, Neb. — Snowmelt inflow is occurring at Jamestown and Pipestem Reservoirs, and pool elevations have been increasing as expected. Large river flows continue upstream of the reservoirs and high inflows are expected to continue for the next few weeks. Combined releases from the reservoirs are currently expected to stay below 1200 cubic feet per second; significant additional rainfall or snow may necessitate higher release levels.

Pipestem Reservoir is currently at pool elevation 1460.1 feet which results in 16.6 percent of the flood pool occupied. Inflows are 2200 cfs and have begun to drop in the last couple of days. Jamestown Reservoir is currently at pool elevation 1431.8 feet which results in 1percent of the flood pool occupied. Inflows are currently 360 cfs and rising with flows at the James River at Grace City gage near 3000 cfs.

Currently releases are at 100 cfs at Pipestem Reservoir and 450 cfs at Jamestown Reservoir resulting in a combined release of 550 cfs. Releases will be held steady over the weekend. In the following week, releases will be increased to a combined 750 to 1200 cfs depending on the inflow volume into the reservoirs. Releases will be stepped up by approximately 100 to 200 cfs per day as necessary. During the rest of May, emphasis will be placed on evacuating Jamestown Reservoir flood storage near the June 1 target date. Pipestem Reservoir flood storage will be primarily evacuated in June, July and August.

Residents along the James River downstream from Jamestown should monitor flood forecasts by the National Weather Service and make preparations as necessary to minimize damages from high river levels.  Flood forecasts on the James River in North Dakota and South Dakota are available on the Missouri Basin River Forecasting Center website at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mbrfc/.

A rapid deployable gage was installed on the James River near Adrian to provide river stage readings between Jamestown and Lamoure. Data from this gage and permanent gages on the James River in North Dakota and South Dakota is available on the U.S. Geological Survey website at http://nd.water.usgs.gov/floodinfo/james.html.  

Brian Twombly
Maggie Oldham

Release no. 20130503-003