Gavins Point Dam releases to remain high through November

Published: Oct. 14, 2019 at 1:51 PM CDT
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The historical release rate at Gavins Point Dam in Yankton will continue for at least another month.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said releases from the dam will stay at 80,000 cubic feet per second through November, which is over twice the normal flow for this time of year. Dakota Radio Group reports that rate may go higher if necessary.

Hydraulic Engineer Mike Swenson of the Corps' Omaha office said water levels remain high in several reservoirs upstream, necessitating the high releases at Gavins Point. He said while Lake Francis Case at Ft. Randall Dam is starting to come down, releases from the Oahe Dam near Pierre will soon increase.

John Remus, the head of the water management office, says Gavins Point releases may have to increase beyond the eighty thousand cubic feet point if necessary.

According to a news release from the Corps of Engineers, if the flow rate at Gavins Point continues as forecasted, 2019 will set a record for total flow.

The Upper Midwest has seen above-normal precipitation most of the year, including flood events in March, April, and September. Much of that water has ended up in the reservoir system, leaving the Corps with the task of managing high water levels in the system.