Dam Releases Increase Again - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Dam Releases Increase Again

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Get ready for the level of the Mouse River to rise.

Another round of increases in water flow has begun, both from Canadian dams and at Lake Darling.

Just 90 minutes ago, water managers opened gates at Lake Darling Dam to increase releases from the 800 cubic feet per second level they'd been at for most of a week, to 15-hundred CFS.

And the releases will increase again tomorrow too - going up to 23-hundred CFS by this time on Wednesday.

The new round of releases from Lake Darling comes in response to news from Canada that a new survey of the water content in the snowpack in Saskatchewan shows a large amount of moisture will be coming into the system when the melt begins.

(Tom Pabian, US Fish & Wildlife Service) "This weekend they flew what they call gamma surveys, it determined the amount of moisture in the snowpack that's up there. With that information they've calculated there's a bit more moisture than earlier they thought and that's what taking in effect now."

Here's a look at the current releases from Canadian dams - although these figures are about three hours old they are the latest available.

Rafferty is the largest of the three reservoirs and is putting out one thousand CFS.

Alameda Dam is currently releasing 471 CFS, and Boundary Dam is releasing 160 CFS.

The current total of water being sent downstream from Canadian dams is 1643 CFS, but is on its way to 23-hundred CFS over the next several hours.

And again, Lake Darling Dam is now spewing 15-hundred CFS and will go to 23-hundred CFS tomorrow.

Officials say the river channel should be able to handle the higher flow - with ice beginning to break up or melt away.

(Tom Pabian, US Fish & Wildlife Service) "It's a combination of events - we feel that ice conditions downstream are such that we can increase the needed flows."

Ice has disappeared from the river from Lake Darling Dam to a few miles north of Burlington.

City of Minot officials say you can expect to see the river rise about two feet in town.

And they stress they are ready to respond to any threats should the river rise into flood stage of five thousand CFS.

A new estimate of the flood potential for this spring is due to be released by the National Weather Service on Thursday.

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