Jun 10, 2011 9:57 PM by KRTV
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened the spillway at the Fort Peck Dam to allow water to flow through at 47,000 cubic feet per second (CFS), for a record 60,000 CFS flow rate through the powerhouse and spillway on the upper portion of the Missouri River, moving a record amount of rain down the river system.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Wednesday that the increase was scheduled, and has now released video of the release.
On Wednesday, Jody Farhat, chief of the Missouri River Water Management office, said, "Inflows at Fort Peck today were double yesterday's and are forecast to remain well above previously forecasted levels for the next six to eight days. As a result, releases at Fort Peck will be increased to better balance the flood storage between Fort Peck and Garrison."
The Fort Peck releases should not affect planned peak releases at the other five Missouri River dams, Farhat said.
The record flows mean boaters downstream of Fort Peck Dam should use extreme caution. "The increased flows have caused violent water in the plunge pool," said Fort Peck Operations Project Manager John Daggett. "We recommend that boaters stay away from the downstream spillway channel during these high waters."
Heavy rain and melting of historic levels of snowpack over the Northwestern Division area have raised water levels of rivers and reservoirs.
Portions of Montana received nearly a year's worth of rain last month, nearly filling the reservoirs.