Gavins Point Dam in good condition - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Gavins Point Dam in good condition


YANKTON, South Dakota (KTIV) -- A troubling situation in Eastern Iowa, but how are things in Siouxland's back yard?

The Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota is nearly as old as Delhi and spans two miles across the Missouri.

It's remarkable to see, water gushing out of the Gavin's Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota, but after 53 years of service just how safe is this Missouri mammoth?

"Gavin's Point Dam is in very good condition it really is 53 years old but it has had excellent maintenance," says Operations Manager David Becker.

Which is great news considering Gavin's Point is one of six dams holding back flood waters on the "Mighty Mo." But that won't be for long, as water is slowly being released to prevent future flooding.

"We need to evacuate that water from the Missouri River Reservoir system prior to next spring so we have room to store additional flood water," says Becker.

"Now if you look you can see literally thousands of gallons of water rushing out from underneath those spill way doors, now officials tell us they haven't done this for flood waters since 1999," says Forrest.

To give you an idea of just how much extra water the Missouri dams are holding back, officials say you would have to imagine a section of land one mile by one mile and filled three miles high with water.

"We're are very watchful of the water situation this year because it has been causing a lot of problems for people but as far as the integrity of the dam we feel real comfortable with that," says Becker.

But to reach that element of security Becker says its a lot of checking and rechecking, annual inspections, and just plain eye-balling.

"I really urge people to especially in a wet year like this to be watchful of anything water related including the river levels, just have a certain level of awareness," says Becker.

Gavin's Point spill ways will be open until November of this year, giving a little breathing room for future floods. But as far as any safety concerns officials say don't hold your breath.

Online Reporter: Forrest Saunders

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