The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday that releases from Fort Randall and Gavins Point dams will be reduced following recent heavy rains and runoff in southeastern South Dakota and northwestern Iowa.
"The reduction in releases will correspond with high flows on the unregulated tributaries, particularly the James, Big Sioux and Little Sioux Rivers, which enter the Missouri River downstream of Gavins Point Dam," John Remus, chief of the Corps' Missouri River Basin Water Management Division, said in a news release.
Fort Randall releases were reduced from 55,000 cubic feet per second to 47,000 cfs Thursday morning. Fort Randall releases are scheduled to be further reduced over the next couple of days.
"The extent of the Fort Randall release reduction will be based on how the runoff from rains earlier this week impacts the Gavins Point reservoir," Remus added.
Gavins Point releases will be reduced from 58,000 cfs to 46,000 cfs over a three-day period starting today. The releases will be reduced 4,000 cfs a day. The Gavins Point releases will be maintained at 46,000 cfs until the Missouri River at Sioux City, Iowa, peaks, which is expected to occur early next week.
Once the Missouri River peaks at Sioux City, the Corps plans to increase Gavins Point releases back to 58,000 cfs to continue evacuating the stored floodwaters from this last spring and summer.
Weekly updates on basin conditions, reservoir levels and other topics of interest can be viewed at nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/pdfs/weeklyupdate.pdf.
As of Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service showed the Missouri River in Jefferson City was at 13.8 feet and was expected to stay around that level through early next week.