Drought conditions driving lowered runoff forecast

PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- Dry conditions in April resulted in very low runoff into the upper Missouri River Basin.

Mike Swenson with the US Army Corps of Engineers says the level of the Lake Oahe reservoir at Pierre/Fort Pierre is below the flood control zone of 1607.5 feet.

Despite the drought conditions along much of the upper Missouri River Basin, Swenson says the Oahe reservoir’s level is actually higher than usual for this time of year.

John Remus is the chief of the US Army Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. He says even in dry years, they usually add water to the system’s reservoir storage in March and April– but not this year.

Last month the upper Missouri River Basin runoff was 44% of average– the 9th driest April in the 123 years of record keeping.

To view the detailed three-week release forecast for the mainstem dams, go to https://go.usa.gov/xARQB.

The Missouri Basin Web App provides links to these reports and others that are updated more frequently. http://go.usa.gov/xE6fC.