The Army Corps of Engineers tells KSFY News that water levels on Lake Oahe and the Missouri River are down and will likely remain low through the spring and summer. The Corps is involved in a delicate balancing act involving the Missouri river that stretches from North Dakota all the way down to Omaha. And South Dakota is literally and figuratively in the middle.
The ways of nature can be pretty ironic. 18 months ago, we were talking about a Missouri River that way angry and bubbling and swelling in a way we had never seen before. This is the Missouri River now: peaceful, tranquil and mostly quiet. And the Army Corps of Engineers says...expect it to stay that way.
"We will have water levels below normal next year. Unless Mother Nature really turns around and starts dumping a lot of snow and a lot of moisture on us...we think we'll be a little below normal and kind of in that water conservation mode all year." Eric Stasch with the Army Corps says the Missouri River system in South Dakota quickly went from having way too much water to now not having enough. The effects of one of the worst droughts in this area...a level of dryness not seen since the 1930's. "We've been conserving water since last year. we continue conserving water trying to keep as much water in the lakes as possible."
And the ironic part? The flood of 2011....which was so widespread and horrible and scary...is what is muting the effects of the drought now and keeping water levels close to normal...but still below normal.
Right now, the army corps says the most likely effect you will notice on the Missouri River; some boats ramps may not be able to be used because the water levels will not support them over the coming months.
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