Capitol News Bureau

Missouri River Had Third Highest Runoff Year Recorded

PIERRE, S.D. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the Missouri River and the six mainstream dams on it, including four in South Dakota.

The corps holds meetings each fall in states along the river. Part of their team went to Fort Pierre on Wednesday to talk about what is coming the rest of this year and their draft operating plan for 2019.

John Remus is the federal government's chief for water management in the Missouri River basin.

He told the gathering of about 30 people at the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center the river this year had the third highest runoff on record.

The most recent instance when runoff was higher came in 2011.

That's when water spilled over Oahe Dam's emergency gates and crews piled up sandbags along the river's banks in cities such as Pierre, Fort Pierre and Dakota Dunes.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the state Game, Fish and Parks Department oppose some of the changes being made by the river's managers.

Remus said the corps wants to have the 2019 operating plan done soon.

He said next year should be normal, something he said hasn't happened in a long time on the Missouri.

Click here for a link to the meeting report. 

Click here for a link to the annual operating plan.

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