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Gavins Point Dam

Water flows through the spillways at Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota, in April. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will decrease releases to 60,000 cubic feet per second by Sunday to alleviate flooding downstream, then increase releases to 80,000 cfs later next week.

OMAHA -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will increase water releases at Gavins Point Dam Thursday because of heavy rainfall over Nebraska and South Dakota in the past week.

Releases will be increased to 60,000 cubic feet per second, up from 50,000 cfs.

"There is no estimate on how long releases will remain at 60,000 from Gavins Point," John Remus, chief of the corps' Missouri River Basin Water Management Division, said in a news release. "We will continue to monitor conditions and make adjustments as necessary."

Because of the rain, which totaled 2-5 inches in some areas, inflows into Gavins Point, as well as reservoirs upriver at Oahe, Big Bend and Fort Randall, have increased, taking up more space in the reservoirs' flood control pools. Releases from Gavins Point, near Yankton, South Dakota, will allow more water to pass through the Missouri River reservoir system and slow the rise in the other reservoirs.

Mountain snowpack continues to melt and enter the system in Montana and North Dakota, Remus said, and the corps must ensure that reservoirs have enough room to hold that runoff.

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