River Upper Basin Snowpack Like 2011, But Flooding Less Likely In 2014

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official says the mountain snowpack in the Missouri River's upper basin is close to levels seen before the 2011 flooding, but believes flooding this year is still far less likely.

Jody Farhat says drought in 2012 has resulted in a one-third increase in water storage capacity in the three Missouri River reservoirs in the Dakotas and Montana and there is not as much snow accumulation on the plains as there was three years ago.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he still wants government officials and residents to be diligent about monitoring flood potential this year. He says in 2011, information on river conditions came too late.

Flooding and washed-out roads have prompted travel warnings in western Nebraska's Kimball County where highway superintendent Dave Hottell blames the mess on runoff from melting snow in the panhandle and adjacent parts of Wyoming. He says roughly half of his county's gravel roads are washed out "and the other half are not in good shape." Some stretches of U.S. Highway 30 have been closed as well because of flooding.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a gauge in the county's Lodgepole Creek has recorded its highest flows in more than 30 years.

Banner County and Sioux County have issued travel advisories for county roads as well.

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