Water Resources of the United States


Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 11:32:17 EDT

Summary: Major flood stage reached on the Missouri River above Lake Sakakawea. Garrison Dam releases reach 60,000 cfs.

The Missouri River is at major flood stage above Lake Sakakawea due to above average mountain snowmelt runoff and precipitation within the basin (see Missouri Basin River Forecast Center forecast for station 06330000 Missouri River at Williston, ND). Releases from Garrison Dam (75 miles north of Bismarck) have caused the Missouri River at Bismarck (06342500) to reach action stage.

The current flow on the Missouri River in Bismarck is the third highest since Garrison Dam was completed in 1953 (exceeded only by peaks in 1975 and 2011). Reaching action stage in Bismarck is causing a fair amount of concern amongst the public. A sampling of local media coverage:



The streamgage immediately below Garrison Dam (06340700) is malfunctioning and will be repaired tomorrow. All other Missouri River streamages are operational.

Field crews from the Bismarck, ND Office are making measurements at the Missouri River at Bismarck streamgage on an as needed basis (typically twice a week). Measured flows during flooding in 2011 documented a loop about the rating. The last measurement at this station was trending positive.

The USGS is communicating with stakeholders through email, chat, and local media. Local media accompanied Bismarck staff in the field on June 22:


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