Army Corps of Engineers to support above minimal operations on Missouri River for 2014
In the early part of Boonville's history the river was a large part of the way people transported goods from one place to another. Now, the river remains a vital transportation hub.
Unlike the Mississippi River, which can handle barges throughout the year, the Missouri River has an on and off season. In the winter, the traffic is non-existant except for small boats, which use the river for recreation.
Currently, the river is roughly 40 percent covered in ice and the level is at 2.9 feet, far short of the transportation needs.
From April to November, water depth provided, the river is open for traffic.
"Gavins Point (located in northern Nebraska and southern South Dakota) releases are currently being stepped down to minimum winter release rates as part of Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System water conservation measures," a release from the corps of engineers stated.
From May to November the United States Army Corps of Engineers will release 100 percent or above the amount of water for 2014 at the upper river docks but support may be slightly above minimal again for this year.
"Due to the below normal system storage, it is likely that the Corps’ flow support for Missouri River navigation will be slightly above minimum service for the first half of next year’s navigation season as a drought conservation measure. Minimum service flow support is designed to provide an eight feet deep by 200-feet-wide navigation channel rather than the nine feet by 300 feet supported with full service flows. The actual service level will be set based on the March 15 system storage in accordance with guidelines in the Master Manual. With dry conditions next spring, flow support for the second half of the navigation season, as well as the navigation season length, may be reduced based on the July 1 storage check.
At the end of November, the mountain snowpack was 112 percent of normal in the reach above Fort Peck and 113 percent of normal in the reach from Fort Peck to Garrison," the release stated.