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Releases to increase from Fort Randall, Gavins Point dams

YANKTON (AP) -- The Army Corps of Engineers plans to increase water releases from the Fort Randall and Gavins Point dams on the Missouri River. The corps has been holding back water to avoid downstream flooding. Jody Farhat with the corps says he...

YANKTON (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers plans to increase water releases from the Fort Randall and Gavins Point dams on the Missouri River.

The corps has been holding back water to avoid downstream flooding. Jody Farhat with the corps says heavy late-April rains increased runoff into the reservoir system, and adjustments had to be made to avoid localized flooding downstream.

The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan reports releases are being increased in part to protect the endangered least tern and threatened piping plover. The higher releases will prevent the birds from nesting on low sandbars that would be flooded later this summer when higher releases are needed to support navigation.

Farhat says despite the recent rises in river levels, the overall system is well prepared to handle any future events.

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