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Corps raises water release level

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Corps raises water release level

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YANKTON, S.D. — High water levels in the Upper Missouri River Basin have prompted the Corps of Engineers to increase water releases at Gavins Point Dam to 75,000 cubic feet per second.

The Corps began raising the flow on Tuesday.

Officials from the Corps of Engineers Omaha office said last week, the increases are because of water on the ground and runoff into the Oahe and Fort Randall reservoirs in South Dakota from recent rains.

The increase will likely remain elevated throughout the summer, officials said.

The normal release rate at the dam is 30,000 cfs.

The record discharge rate for Gavins Point Dam was set during the flooding of 2011 when discharges were raised to an unprecedented 160,000 cfs. Prior to that, the record discharge level was set back in 1997 when the Corps raised the level to 70,000 cfs.

Corps officials said the Missouri River has been high for months, and increased releases could lead to more flooding.

“We will continue to monitor conditions along the length of the Missouri River and make adjustment as necessary,” John Remus, the chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division, said in a statement.