With the return to milder weather across the Missouri River basin, the Army Corps of Engineers is gradually reducing reservoir releases from Gavins Point Dam in northeast Nebraska.

Current releases of 18,000 cubic feet per second into the Missouri River will be scaled back to the previously set winter release rate of 14,000 cubic feet.

Releases were temporarily increased during mid-December's colder weather to help reduce the risk of ice jams forming on the river and tributaries.

Because of concerns regarding the operability of municipal water intakes along the lower river, it is unlikely that releases will reach the previously planned 12,000 cubic feet rate unless tributary inflows increase significantly, said Jody Farhat in Omaha, chief of the Northwestern Water Management Division.

Additional adjustments may be necessary depending upon the weather, she said. If subzero temperatures or wind chills return, releases may be increased back to 18,000 cubic feet on a temporary basis. — David Hendee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that it would gradually reduce the amount of water it releases out of Gavins Point dam on the South Dakota-Nebraska border to 14,000 cubic feet per second.

That's a decrease of 4,000 cubic feet per second from the releases being made over the past two weeks.

The change is not expected to make much difference in water levels downstream in the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers.

Officials said last month that the water flow needed to be increased because ice forming on the river would reduce the flow. Now the weather has improved enough to alleviate the ice concerns.

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