Missouri River water levels remain elevated in early 2019

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The amount of water being released into the lower Missouri River will remain elevated at the start of the year, but should return to normal levels throughout 2019.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the amount of water being released from Gavins Point Dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border was recently increased to help clear out excess water collected last year.

Those higher winter releases will help generate more power and clear out space for this spring's rain and melting snow.

The 49.9 million acre feet of water that flowed into the Missouri River's reservoirs last year was the third-highest level on record. This year, officials expect the amount of water to be close to the average amount of 25.3 million acre feet.