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Frustrated With Higher Release From Gavins Point

June 22, 2011, 10:05 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Frustrated With Higher Release From Gavins Point
YANKTON, SD - Thursday morning the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will increase the flow of water out of Gavins Point Dam to 160,000 cubic feet per second. 

The flow was at 150,000 CFS just a few days ago, and officials with the Corps had said they didn't have any immediate plans to open Gavins Point any further. But, now they say recent heavy rain is forcing them to change that plan. 

The Corps announced the increase Tuesday night and then bumped up the release to 155,000 CFS Wednesday.

Just when he thought the Missouri River was done rising, Doug Larson the owner of Larson's Landing just below the dam, watched the water levels go up another five inches Wednesday.

"The day before yesterday they said 150 max we'll check it again in July. Four-thirty yesterday afternoon I heard it's going up 10,000. Where you coming from guys? Give us a chance," Larson said. 

Seventeen homes are already surrounded by water and have been evacuated in Larson's Landing. But, Larson is now wondering if the water will get even higher later this summer.

"Most of the damage has been done and that, it's are they going to do another five or six again? Where are they going to stop with this?" Larson said.

The Corps of Engineers says the increase is needed because of all the rain that has fallen recently, but Larson thinks it's not just the rain that's the problem. 

"What I have to believe in now is that the rains are done and they can manage what they get. But, I don't think the rains are the only problem. I think they were slow on making decisions," Larson said.

Larson remembers seeing the Corps hauling riprap below the dam in March. He thinks they were preparing then to open the dam.

But, he says at this point there's not much to do except hope and pray that everyone stays safe as he watches the river rise even more.

"Say a lot of prayers. God willing he'll protect us. I can't do it anymore. We've given it our best shot. We'll see how it goes," Larson said.

The Corps says they plan to keep the releases at that level through August.
Larson says if that happens he thinks the homes and trees in his development will all be gone and swept down the river.

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