Dry Northern Plains helps spring runoff prep on MO. River

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December 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A dry fall across the Northern Plains has helped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers release water from the six Missouri River reservoirs to guard against a repeat of this year’s major flooding along the river. Corps official Jody Farhat says the agency should reach its goal later this month of 56.9 million acre feet of flood storage in the reservoirs. South Dakota Climatologist Dennis Todey tells the Argus Leader newspaper that there is “marginal to no snowpack” across the Plains. And December snow measurements in Montana’s mountains have been average to a bit below average in the drainage areas that feed the Missouri. Farhat says reservoirs are near the point whether they should be able to accommodate the projected runoff next spring.