Corps increases projected run-off forecast, says chances of floo - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Corps increases projected run-off forecast, says chances of flood are still unlikely

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

The projected run-off of mountain snow pack into the Missouri River has increased to 121-percent of normal.  However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say that's still half the level that set off the historic 2011 flood.

Missouri River runoff comes from three sources: snow in the plains, snow in the mountains, and rain. In 2011, all three were above average creating the perfect storm for a historic flood along the Mighty Mo. Snowpack in the mountains is above normal this year, which means runoff into the Missouri River will be higher than normal as well. Right now, officials with the National Weather Service say flooding will be active, but not exceptional.

"The National Weather Service does expect significant flooding due to mountain snow alone,” said Scott Dummer, National Weather Service.

Officials say the Dakotas and Northern Iowa will see high water around the Missouri's tributaries which is typical for spring.

On March 17th, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will step up releases at Gavins Point Dam, which currently sit at 14,000 cfs, to begin the navigation season on April 1st. The releases are expected to top out around 30,000 cfs this summer, and will be reduced if downstream flooding occurs. The corps has bid out 208 million dollars worth of projects at six dams this year. That includes a 12 million dollar inspection and repair job at Gavins Point. Work will start this summer.

"The ongoing repair efforts will not adversely impact our ability to do flood control or water regulation,” said Brett Budd, U.S Army Corps of Engineers Restoration Team.

After 2011, there were calls to change the Corps' operating manual. Though it hasn't changed, officials say there's more coordination with federal agencies to develop a better forecast.

“We're working with all the folks who are gathering data and making sure that we're all singing off the same sheet of music,” Jody Farhat, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri River Basin Chief.

Farhat says the basins are still experiencing drought-like conditions and they do not anticipate at this point, having to release any flood water.

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