Historic flooding in Nebraska prompts Corps to increase releases upstream of the Missouri River

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By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

Gavins Point Dam/US Army Corps of Engineers file photo

Widespread, historic flooding in Nebraska could have a major impact on northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drastically increases water releases from Gavins Point Dam to relieve pressure upstream.

The Army Corps has announced it is increasing releases to 90,000 cubic feet per second from Gavins Point, nearly twice the current releases and far above the 60,000 the Corps had said earlier it would begin releasing on Friday.

In a news release, the Corps stated the increase is necessary as “unregulated inflows from the Niobrara and other watersheds continue to spill into the reservoir.”

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency reports one death as a farmer drove a tractor into floodwaters at Shell Creek near Columbus to assist a motorist and the tractor was swept away by rushing high water.

The Corps has stated it does not know how the increased flows from Gavins Point will affect the Missouri River downstream. Atchison County emergency management officials have already urged residents living west of Interstate 29 to evacuate as fears of flooding grow with the rising of the Missouri River.