The spillway at Fort Peck Dam, which backs up the 134-mile long Fort Peck Lake, operated earlier this month for the first time since 1997, said Jody Farhat, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management office with the U.S. Corps of Engineers. She said water will pass over the spillway again starting Thursday as the Corps plans to build to a record release of 50,000 cubic feet per second by June 6. The previous record, she said, was 35,000 cfs in 1975. She reiterated that the dam is absolutely safe.2011 snow pack graphic. The NPR report on Montana's relief and recovery efforts with photos from the Crow reservation. From the already flooded downstream Bismarck Tribune:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is using the spillway and increasing output from the Garrison Dam within the next two weeks. Changes to the Missouri River channel, however, led the corps to lower its projected river level in Bismarck. U.S. Geological Survey stream gauges in the Bismarck area show the water in the Missouri River is flowing about 16 feet per minute, or about seven to eight times greater than normal, said North Dakota National Guard Adj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk. The faster the water moves, the greater its capacity to carry sediment.NOAA Yellowstone River webcam at Glendive. USGS stream data at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. It's not as if the Corps hasn't wanted to send toxic sediment into the Gulf of Mexico where it could join with dispersants from the BP oil calamity. Again, from the Bismarck Tribune's Sara Kincaid:
The corps intends to release 85,000 cfs on Monday, 105,000 cfs on Wednesday and 120,000 cfs on Thursday, said Todd Lindquist, the operations manager for the Garrison Dam. It intends to hold the release at 120,000 cfs for about a week before raising it to 150,000 cfs in mid-June. The 150,000 cfs releases could go into July.Screw New Orleans, right?
Boulder Hill this morning ip photo
From South Dakota's Bob Mercer, who beat this post by an hour and fifteen minutes, btw:
The engineers who designed the Missouri River dam system were geniuses. They did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time of the climate and the terrain. We became spoiled in the decades since, carefree where we built, angry and demanding when the reservoirs didn’t contain enough water for our pursuits and needs. Now we face what many never expected.Well, some of us did expect it.