ROCK ISLAND, ILL. – With the possibility of a flood of record on the Lower Mississippi River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is implementing a region-wide plan to reduce outflows from reservoirs located on tributaries to the Mississippi River. All Corps of Engineers reservoirs with the ability to impact Lower Mississippi River flood stages are evaluating water releases to minimize impacts to communities along the River.
To assist in reducing Lower Mississippi River flood stages, Lake Red Rock outflows are being held at 10,000 cubic feet per second1 and may be reduced further as needed. Reduced outflows will continue for approximately seven to 14 days to reduce Des Moines River flows into the Mississippi River. This reduction will increase the Lake’s pool level to about 758.5 feet or higher depending on the duration of reduced flow and future rainfall and inflow into the reservoir during the reduction.
In response to the Lake Red Rock reduction, Saylorville Lake’s outflow is also being reduced to balance storage between the reservoirs. Saylorville Lake's pool is expected to rise to 854.7 feet or higher depending on the duration of reduced flow and future rainfall and inflow into the reservoir during the reduction.
Reduction in reservoir outflows across the Mississippi River basin will help to reduce flood heights along the Lower Mississippi River and at Cairo, Ill., which may help to prevent operation of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway. Operating the floodway requires the creation of artificial crevasses in the Floodway’s levee system to divert flows of 550,000 cubic feet per second1 from the Mississippi River to reduce river stages in the vicinity of Cairo, with smaller reductions above Cairo and throughout the Floodway reach.
Updated information about Lake Red Rock and Saylorville Lake levels, inflows and outflows; and river levels for the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers is available on the web by visiting the Corps’ website at www.rivergages.com.
• Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway and Lower Mississippi River Flood Information: http://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/publicaffairs/News/press_releases/pressrelease.asp
• Reservoir Fact Sheets: http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/PublicAffairsOffice/FactSheets/Reservoirs.htm
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District: http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/
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1 NOTE: Cubic feet per second (cfs). The rate of flow past a given point, measured in cubic feet per second. One cubic foot of water equals about 7-1/2 gallons.
Release no. 4/29/2011