MILLS, Wyo. – The Bureau of Reclamation expects higher than normal flows and reservoir levels on the North Platte River System this summer. This is due to recent widespread precipitation, coupled with above average snowpack and already well above average water levels in the reservoirs.
“Reclamation is continuing to take steps to make room for the snowmelt runoff that is expected to come into Seminoe and Pathfinder Reservoirs over the next few weeks,” said Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca. “Moving water downstream now will reduce the peak of downstream flows that would be experienced otherwise. Reclamation is coordinating with other Federal, state, and local officials regarding reservoir levels and river flows.”
Spillways and outlet works will be operated as necessary at all of the Reclamation dams along the North Platte River. The public should be aware of the changing river flows and reservoir levels and take proper precautions.
The release from Seminoe Dam through the Miracle Mile has been increased to approximately 6,500 cfs (cubic feet per second) and is expected to be increased again to 7,500 cfs by the end of the week. The current release below Pathfinder Dam is approximately 4,600 cfs and is likely to increase to over 5,000 cfs by the end of May, and 7,000 cfs by early June. The current release from Gray Reef Dam is approximately 4,500 cfs and is expected to increase to 5,000 cfs by the end of May and near 7,000 cfs by early June. As a comparison, the Gray Reef Dam releases from the most recent high water year in 2011 were about 8,000 cfs.
Glendo Reservoir has risen to approximately 5 feet into the exclusive flood control. The reservoir is expected to remain in the flood pool until late July in an effort to provide downstream flood protection in Wyoming and Nebraska. The Guernsey Reservoir release is currently 5,000 cfs. That outflow is projected through the month of May with an increase to 6,000 cfs by mid-June