Reservoir releases to continue

Farm Forum

Higher releases from reservoirs in North Dakota into the James River will continue until at least late June, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

That water will flow into northern Brown County and could feed flooding conditions. The river is channeled in North Dakota, but it is not south of the border, so the water tends to spread over land around the river.

According to the National Weather Service, the James near Columbia is in flood stage and isn’t expected to crest until the middle of the month. The water will threaten low-lying and agricultural land around the river near Columbia, according to the weather service.

The James at Columbia was at 13.52 feet on June 4. Minor flood stage is 13 feet. It’s expected to continue to slowly climb in the weeks to come, according to the weather service. As things stand, it’s not expected to reach moderate or major flood stage.

Last month, the corps increased the combined releases from the Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs to 1,200 cubic feet per second. That amount was expected to be scaled back early this month, according to information from the corps. But above-normal rainfall and higher runoff into the reservoirs altered the plan, the corps said.

The reservoir releases should not have to be increased, according to the corps.