River may face record low levels

Low water has docked much of the barge traffic on the Missouri River.

Low water has docked much of the barge traffic on the Missouri River. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

For now, the Corps of Engineers says the levels on the Missouri River are in the range needed to maintain a navigation season through Dec. 1.

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However, unless there is more precipitation over the next few months, the Corps expects the spring navigation season will be adversely affected.

“More than likely, we will see a shortened season in spring, but we won’t know for sure until we get forecasts closer to when we have to make a decision,” said Corps spokesman Monique Farmer.

Currently, the Corps is releasing 38,000 cubic feet per second of water from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota.

“That’s 3,000 cubic feet per second more than normal for this time of year and that’s because of the lower levels down stream,” she said.

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