The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun reducing Gavins Point Dam releases to the winter release rate. The process began on Nov. 30.
The releases will be stepped down at a rate of 3,000 cubic feet per second per day until they reach 27,000 cfs where they are expected to remain through December.
Releases will then be reduced to 25,000 cfs in January. The Corps says they'll remain near that rate for the rest of the winter.
Gavins Point Dam winter releases normally range between 12,000 and 17,000 cfs. Higher-than-average winter releases from the Missouri River Mainstem System projects, including Gavins Point, continue emptying water from the 2019 runoff season still in storage.
John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division, said, “We are monitoring basin and channel conditions very closely and will make any necessary adjustments. Water remaining in flood control storage zones will lead to increased flood risk in 2020."
Lower release rates are set during the winter because the Missouri ices over to the north limiting the amount of water that can flow beneath the ice.