Souris/Mouse River Dams Ready For Runoff

Even with more frigid weather in the forecast, February First is a milestone regarding the potential for flooding in north-central North Dakota.
Jim Olson explains.

(Jim Olson, KX News) “Welcome to the start of the flood control season along the Souris-Mouse River system in Canada and the US. Today is the deadline for reservoirs in Saskatchewan and North Dakota to be at prescribed levels so they’re ready to handle any runoff coming this spring.”

(Frank Durbian, US Fish & Wildlife Service) “It’s in pretty good shape right now.”

Frank Durbian is referring to the levels of reservoirs in near Estevan and at Lake Darling in North Dakota.

(Frank Durbian, US Fish & Wildlife Service) “Right now we’re just doing normal operations and looking forward to having a moderate, average year.”

That’s because the levels of reservoirs behind the Rafferty, Alameda, and Lake Darling Dams are all at the required levels as of February First. And snowpack is low right now. Compare the current snow depth map showing less than eight inches across the basin, with the map from February First, 2011 – the year of the record flood. The deep purples mean 30″ or more of snow. Water managers and weather forecasters from both sides of the border will be holding their first conference call of the flood protection season Monday to confirm that, for now, flooding is not a concern.

(Frank Durbian, US Fish & Wildlife Service) “It looks like we’ll be in a non-flood year, of course, subject to change with the weather as it always is.”

(Jim Olson, KX News) “After Monday’s phone conference, the river managers from Canada and the US will continue to meet every couple of weeks to discuss the current conditions and decide if any changes need to be made to the management plan for this spring and summer. At Lake Darling, Jim Olson, KX News.”

If current conditions continue and it’s a relatively dry year along the river, Durbian says there is ample storage at Lake Darling to provide enough water along the Mouse for good habitat health this year.
 

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