ND Mo River dam's spillway opened for first time

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Garrison Dam opened its emergency spillway gates for the first time Wednesday, and the river is expected to rise for the next several days.

Army Corps of Engineers project manager Todd Lindquist says the gates are being used because Lake Sakakawea has almost reached its water storage limit.

The gates have never been used to dump water out of Lake Sakakawea since the dam began operating in the 1950s. Lindquist says the release will be controlled by opening the gates by about a foot. There are 28 gates and they'll be opened in groups of seven.

The dam's water releases are to gradually rise from 85,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday to 120,000 cubic feet per second on Sunday. The river is almost at its 16-foot flood stage.