Missouri River to remain high indefinitely

Missouri River to remain high indefinitely
Chipper Fyfe stands on a dike to see how far flood waters have risen just west of Hamburg, Iowa on Wednesday. (World-Herald News Service)

Flooding on the Missouri River will continue for many more weeks, the National Weather Service forecast Wednesday evening.

The weather service made that updated forecast after taking into account Wednesday’s announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that it would increase releases from Gavins Point Dam to 75,000 cubic feet per second Saturday. That’s more than double the average for this time of year. The corps says releases will remain at least that high into the foreseeable future.

Van DeWald, meteorologist with the weather service, said the river is expected to crest at 31 feet at Omaha Saturday night into Monday, a little more than a foot higher than it had reached Wednesday evening. At Blair, it’s expected to rise about 2 feet higher. Downstream of Omaha, where levees are broken and there’s room for the river to spread out, the increases will be lower.

Much depends upon future rainfall.

“The problem is, June is the second wettest month of the year, typically,” DeWald said. “It’s not like we’re going into a dry season.”