Watching the Missouri - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Watching the Missouri

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North Dakota's US Senators are calling on the Corps of Engineers to provide information about their plans to deal with spring runoff on the Missouri River system.

Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven say the mountain snowpack this year rivals 2011, when the Missouri hit record levels in the late spring and early summer.

Some rivers that feed into the Missouri have been running high already this spring, adding to the concern.

The head of the Garrison Dam Project at Riverdale says the Corps is well aware of the high snowpack in the mountains.

But he says Corps water engineers are pointing out that there are many differences this year from 2011 that greatly reduce the potential for flooding on the big river including a much smaller snowpack in the lower reaches of the river.

(Todd Lindquist, Army Corps of Engineers) "Essentially the plains snowpack is just about gone, we're seeing a lot of that this week in fact. And in 2011 as you recall we had an extreme rain event in eastern Montana that compounded the high mountain snowpack and the high plains snowpack."

Lindquist says another major difference from 2011 to 2014 is that there is much more storage volume available in the reservoirs along the river this year.

He says the Corps does not anticipate any major flooding issues on the Missouri this year.

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