Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thune: quit showboating and start sandbagging, Dan!

Several Livingston residents are seeking temporary shelter in the Civic Center after an irrigation ditch spilled its banks Wednesday evening, flooding an apartment complex in the North N Street area. [Livingston (MT) Enterprise]
Way to lawyer up, Dan:
A lawyer for a Kansas City law firm that is suing the U.S. government regarding the management of the Missouri River believes the case is stronger than first thought. The Polsinelli law firm of Kansas City has filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. [KCCR Radio News]
Duh:
The 2013-2014 levels of snowpack, comparable to those of 2011 in the Central and Northern Rockies, have raised concerns about high levels of spring runoff and ultimately the threat of flooding on the Missouri River this year. [communique, Senator don Juan Thune]
And so begins the déjà vu all over again.
After last night’s dumping, snowpack in the upper Yellowstone basin reached 150 percent of normal, approaching levels of the 1996 floods, according to the National Weather Service. The Livingston area received 7 to 11 inches of snow Monday and overnight, NWS reported. That came on top of a February that was already one of the snowiest on record across the state, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service water supply outlook report released late last week. “Water supply indices in most locations are looking more like those in 2011,” the report says. Statewide, most basins are at 130 percent of normal snowpack, NRCS reported. In 2011, snow water equivalent, which is a measure of how much water is in the snow, was at 129 percent of the median in the upper Yellowstone River basin, according to Gina Loss, a hydrologist with the NWS in Great Falls. In 1996, snow water equivalent was at 160 percent of median. In 1997 the snow water equivalent was 186 percent of the median, which resulted in some of the highest flows ever recorded in the Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone fills up when it’s flowing at 20,300 cubic feet per second, according to United States Geological Survey data. USGS recorded peak flows in the Yellowstone at Carter’s Bridge in 1997 of 38,000 cubic feet per second. [Natalie Storey, Livingston Enterprise]
President Obama: tear out the main stem dams.
Runoff in the Missouri River Basin is 121 percent of normal, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that does not indicate similar flood conditions as in 2011. [KCCR Radio News]

...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BISMARCK HAS ISSUED A FLOOD WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN NORTH DAKOTA...MISSOURI RIVER NEAR WILLISTON AFFECTING WILLIAMS AND MCKENZIE COUNTIES FOR THE MISSOURI RIVER BASIN INCLUDING WILLISTON...MINOR FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE.

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