The Corps of Engineers says it’s going to be flexible in the water in sends to Missouri from its upstream reservoirs this winter and into spring. But it will have to balance several interests as it does that.
The Corps says its top priority is to prepare its system for the 20-12 spring flood season. That will mean draining water out of upstream reservoirs all winter to create more storage space for spring snowmelt runoff. . But division water management director Jody Farhat says the corps has to be mindful of upstream state needs. It also has to work around repairs to dams and spillways caused by record flows this year. But she doubts all of the damaged levees will be fixed by next spring. She calls the river system “very vulnerable” –a reason the corps wants to increase storage space upstream.
She says the corps will monitor snow buildup all winter but it cannot accurately forecast spring rains, the culprit behind this year’s floods.
The Corps also has to try to anticipate what conditions will be. She says the basin has dealt with severe doubt in 15 of the 22 years she has been with the Omaha office.