A year ago the Missouri River was running bank-full and more . This year it seems to be running at a relative trickle. But that’s just a matter of perception.
The river is way down from last year’s flood levels, but the Corps of Engineers says it still has plenty of water for a full navigation season. The Operations Manager for the Missouri stretch of the river, Jay Rudy, says we’ve gotten so used to seeing high water levels that this year’s low level seems REALLY low.
But water released from an upstream reservoir is keeping navigation levels up. He says the river has its own navigation challenges and dangers regardless of its depth. “Last year when the water was so high, the danger was going places that you hadn’t been before and dealing with currents that were unusual,” he says.
He says it’s not more or less dangerous…just different as its level changes. Rudy says the channel needs to be at least nine feet deep to guarantee full navigation. He says the Corps makes sure that much water is in the channel.