Governor reports snowpack below normal on MO River

By MATT GOURAS

Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer says that snowpack in the Missouri River Basin headwaters is far below normal so far this winter.

Last year, heavy snowfall in the mountains was a big factor in floods downstream when heavy late spring rain struck the upper plains.

So far, snowpack in the Missouri River headwaters is only 69 percent of normal. But the governor warns the key time for accumulation doesn’t come until February, March and April.

Schweitzer says the Army Corps of Engineers that controls the downstream flow of water with a series of dams is monitoring the figure and making decisions on how much water to release as the picture unfolds.

The Montana governor has sparred with downstream governors who have asked the Corps for more aggressive flood-prevention measures.

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