How high will the water go?

There are quite a few South Dakota government officials in Pierre and Fort Pierre, along with federal workers and other public employees.

The heavy snowfall and rain of the last several months were well-reported and a constant topic of discussion in South Dakota.

So does it seem rather disturbing that this sudden rush to build barriers and alert people to the wall of water that will pass through Pierre and Fort Pierre?

From an AP article:

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to release even more water from Missouri River dams will not only cause additional problems for the central South Dakota communities of Pierre and Fort Pierre, but also for the downstream cities of Yankton and Dakota Dunes in the state’s southeastern corner, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Sunday.”

Was the state ready for this? Why weren’t the barriers erected or at least started weeks ago? How much damage will occur due to this? Does the Corps care what will happen or is it trying to do the best it can to cause the least damage?

The water had to pass through. We knew it was coming. Why the sudden rush rather than a well-designed plan?

Or perhaps is this nature erupting once more and man far too puny to deal with it? Could nothing have been done better, earlier, smarter?

3 thoughts on “How high will the water go?

  1. Look out, Dakota Dunes.
    Here’s the latest from Gov. Daugaard about this huge story, which is getting bigger and more distressing by the day:

    PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that, based on projections by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, all residents of Dakota Dunes should immediately begin making plans to evacuate later this week, due to Missouri River flooding.
    Residents should have their possessions moved, homes secured and be out of those homes by late Thursday, June 2. They should expect to be away from their homes for as much as two months because elevated releases of water from the mainstem dams will continue for several weeks.
    “State and local officials are coordinating to respond to this flooding, and we are considering all possible protective measures,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Every property owner in Dakota Dunes should assume the worst – that protective measures will be impossible or will fail – and should act now to remove their possessions and secure their homes.”
    The Corps of Engineers now projects that, once water releases reach a maximum flow of 150,000 cubic feet per second (CFS), water levels in Dakota Dunes will reach 1,098 feet above sea level. That means protective measures should be built to 1,100 feet above sea level.
    When will this begin and for how long will it last?
    According to Corps’ plans, water releases from Gavins Point Dam Dam will increase gradually beginning today and continue through the end of this week. Beginning next week, water releases will increase more rapidly and will reach a maximum of 150,000 CFS by mid-June.
    Explanation of the cause:
    Over the past several days, the Corps of Engineers dramatically increased its calculation of water releases required from the mainstem dams on the Missouri River. The Corps believes that this increased water release is necessary to avoid overtopping of the spillways.
    Huge rainfalls in Wyoming, Montana, and western North Dakota and South Dakota over the past month have exceeded rainfall in a normal year. This has used capacity of the reservoir system that had been reserved to accommodate the annual snowmelt. In addition, mountain snowpack is 135 percent to 140 percent of normal, and it is melting at a later time. As a result, all the moisture will require the Corps to increase water flows to unprecedented levels.

  2. The corp of engineers wasn’t very smart when they planned to narrow the Missouri River. Now this planned devastaion of homes, businesses and crop land really shows how smart they are. They could have been releasing water slowly earlier this year.

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