OMAHA, Ne. (KMOX) – After nearly a solid month of extreme heat and humidity, it may hard to remember that not so long ago the major concern was flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
But Jodi Farhat, who’s in charge of managing the Missouri River for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, says it’s still too early to set those concerns aside.
“We still have very high releases coming out of the reservoir system,” Farhat tells KMOX News. “But there is an end in sight, and I think that’s the good news.”
Farhat adds, however, that it could still be several weeks — even months — until the threat is completely over as the Corps continues to release large amounts of water from upstream reservoirs.
The problem? Simply too much snow-melt upstream.
Farhat says June, May and July, in that order, now rank among the Top 5 for highest run-off along the Missouri River basin dating back to 1900.
Run-off for the calendar year is projected to reach 61.8 million acre feet (MAF), 249% of normal.
The previous record of 49 MAF was reached in 1997.
Last week the Corps announced its strategy for evacuating the 2011 flood water and preparing the basin for 2012.
“We reviewed each of eight drawdown options with technical experts and leadership within the Northwestern Division, Omaha and Kansas City districts,” said Farhat. “This release strategy puts us in the best position to draw down the water as quickly and responsibly as possible, while allowing us time to inspect, assess and repair damages.”
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