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Missouri River basin remains drier than normal

Despite recent rains, the boat ramp at the Elkhorn Crossing Recreation Area near Omaha, Neb., is exposed as the Elkhorn River is still 3 feet below its normal height, Thursday, May 9, 2013. According to the weekly drought report released Thursday, a wet spring continues to soak the soil across much of the Midwest, causing the prolonged drought to slowly retreat westward.

Despite recent rains, the boat ramp at the Elkhorn Crossing Recreation Area near Omaha, Neb., is exposed as the Elkhorn River is still 3 feet below its normal height, Thursday, May 9, 2013. According to the weekly drought report released Thursday, a wet spring continues to soak the soil across much of the Midwest, causing the prolonged drought to slowly retreat westward. Photo by The Associated Press.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Despite wet weather in April, the amount of water flowing into the Missouri River remains below normal because of slow runoff and the ongoing drought.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday that the cold weather reduced the amount of runoff from snowmelt in the past month.

The corps is predicting the amount of runoff flowing into the river basin this spring to be about 79 percent of normal. So the corps will continue imposing drought conservation measures.

But the corps Jody Farhat says conditions in the basin can change quickly and some areas could see flooding after heavy rains.

The amount of water released out of Gavins Point dam on the South Dakota-Nebraska border averaged 17,800 cubic feet per second during April.

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