The Missouri River at Omaha.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is holding a series of public meetings this week to offer updates on the planned operation of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System.

Corps spokeswoman Amy Gaskill says today’s meeting is in Omaha/Council Bluffs and it’s open to all.

Gaskill says, “Anybody who’s interested in learning more about our water operations and can provide input if they have information to help us operate the system differently, or with more information.”

The public meetings will include a presentation on current conditions in the river basin and the Corps’ plans for operating the reservoir system in the year ahead. There will also be time for questions. Gaskill says the system is ready for any possible flooding situation, though no flooding is anticipated on the Missouri this spring.

“We have a lot of space left in our storage in the reservoirs to handle the water that’s going to be coming down from the mountain snow melt, so we’re looking pretty good there,” Gaskill says. “A significant amount of the plains snowpack has already melted and been through the system, so we’re looking pretty good there as well.” Gaskill says they’ll also provide updates on how the river is being monitored.

“We manage the river and keep a close eye on it, working with our partners from the National Weather Service, from NOAA, making sure we can respond as soon as we can,” she says. Today’s meeting is at 5 p.m. at the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs. Another meeting is being held at 11 this morning in Smithville, Missouri, with more meetings: Wednesday at Fort Peck, Montana and Bismarck, North Dakota, and Thursday in Pierre, South Dakota.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)