Aerial view of the east bank of the Missouri River from a North Dakota National Guard Kiowa OH-58 helicopter in the vicinity of Bismarck, N.D., on June 1, 2011. When this video was taken, the river was at about 15.84 feet with a garrison release flow of 92,500 cubic feet per second. About 1,300 North Dakota National Guard members are on duty helping with flooding operations in the Bismarck-Mandan area.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Missouri River could reach its peak in Bismarck and Mandan within two weeks. Army Corps of Engineers project manager Todd Lindquist says he's expecting water releases from the Garrison Dam to reach 150,000 cubic feet per second by June 17. The flows are now about 100,000 cubic feet per second. Once water leaves the dam, it takes about 30 hours to reach Bismarck. Lindquist says the river's expected crest is still 20.6 feet, even though water releases have increased. He says the force of the extra water is making the river channel deeper. Bismarck Mayor John Warford says dike protection in Bismarck will be close to 22 feet. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple says there have been enough sandbagging volunteers to allow stockpiling of extra bags.
BISMARCK, ND - North Dakota's Garrison Dam opened its emergency spillway gates for the first time Wednesday, and the river is expected to rise for the next several days.
Army Corps of Engineers project manager Todd Lindquist says the gates are being used because Lake Sakakawea has almost reached its water storage limit. The gates have never been used to dump water out of Lake Sakakawea since the dam began operating in the 1950s. Lindquist says the release will be controlled by opening the gates by about a foot.
There are 28 gates and they'll be opened in groups of seven.
The dam's water releases are to gradually rise from 85,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday to 120,000 cubic feet per second on Sunday. The river is almost at its 16-foot flood stage.
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