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March 13, 2013Omaha, NE | By: AP
The amount of water released into the lower Missouri River will be increased this month, as expected, but will be less than the amount usually released in March, affecting shipping on the river.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says winter runoff into the river above Sioux City, Iowa, will be 80 percent of normal this year. The corps announced in a conference call Tuesday that the amount of water will be increased from about 14,000 cubic feet per second to between 23,000 to 28,000 cubic feet per second starting Monday. But that amount 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 likely will not be able to carry full loads this spring.