Experts expect a reduced flood risk across the Missouri River basin this spring, as much of the region is in drought.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts runoff to be below average for a third straight year. John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division, says they plan to continue water conservation measures this year, including releasing the minimum amount of water from upriver reservoirs.

Remus says, “There is presently and will be adequate water in the reservoirs and in the river reaches between the reservoir systems and below the system to serve all our water supply needs.” Remus says the Corps continues to monitor weather forecasts and river conditions and will make adjustments to releases, if needed.

Kevin Low, a hydrologist with the Missouri River Basin Forecast Center, expects some springtime flooding for the lower basin because of thunderstorms. “We are projecting a lower-than-normal flood risk across the basin this spring,” Low says, “but even with this lowered flood risk, we do expect some flooding.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says soil moisture is drier-than-normal in much of the basin. The mountain snowpack and plains snowpack are near average and slightly above average.

(By Katie Peikes, Iowa Public Radio)

Radio Iowa