Early 2020 Forecast Signals More Trouble for Missouri River Farmers

Early predictions for the 2020 runoff season suggest more flood risks for farmers along the Missouri River. Through a series of public meetings, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says wet and saturated soils, along with increased rainfall in the long-term forecast, means 2020 looks similar to the 2019 spring. Flooding remained common this year along the Missouri River since the so-called bomb-cyclone storm in March, where saturated and frozen soils led to a large amount of water runoff in the lower Missouri River basin. The lower basin is uncontrolled, meaning no dams regulate the flow, below the Gavins Point dam. Water releases from Gavins point remain well above average, at roughly 80,000 cubic feet per second, as the Corps tries to prepare the reservoir system for next year. However, winter weather and the risk of ice jams will soon halt those efforts. The last forecast update predicted 2019 runoff would equal the record set in 2011.