The Corps of Engineers thinks its winter work has gotten its upstream reservoirs ready to keep Missouri and downstream states from having another flood like the one we had last year. Hydraulic engineer Joel Knofczynski (kuh-noff-chinsky) says the storage system protecting downstream states from expected snowmelt and runoff is ready. “All 2011 floodwaters were evacuated from the system in December,” he says.
Winter runoff has been heavy because temperatures to the north have been warm that tributaries haven’t frozen, leaving water flowing through the system without eating into storage space.
That’s why he expects a full navigation season across Missouri and up to Sioux City. And it’s why the Corps has cancelled its spring rises—-because there won’t be a need for them.
Although some river watchers in northwest Missouri think the Corps is not releasing as much water as it should from the southernmost reservoir, the Corps says it’s actually releasing about thirty percent more water than usual for this time of year. Jody Farhat is the water management director in the Omaha office:
The Corps says it’s confident it can made critical repairs to the levee system before the spring runoff season starts in only about six weeks—although it might take a year before all repairs are made.