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Feb. 8, 2013Omaha, NE | By: AP
Dry weather continues throughout the area that feeds into the Missouri River, so water levels will remain low.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts that runoff into the river above Sioux City, Iowa, will be 80 percent of normal this year. So the Corps is expected to keep the amount of water it's releasing out of Gavins Point dam on the South Dakota-Nebraska border at 14,000 cubic feet per second throughout February. Around mid-March, the amount of water will be increased to about 25,000 cubic feet per second to help support barge traffic on the river. But that will provide only enough water for a minimal channel 8-feet-deep and 200-feet-wide. A normal navigation channel is 9-feet-deep and 300-feet-wide. So barges may not be able to carry full loads.