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Gavins Point Dam Problems [VIDEO]

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing to investigate potential 2011 flood damage to Gavins Point Dam located by Yankton, South Dakota.  Tuesday officials said there is no indication of major problems with the structure.  They ramped up the discharges Tuesday while doing a spillway flow test.  They had already done spillway visual inspections, dive inspections and side-scan sonar inspections. Last year, sonar tests detected potential problems just below the Gavins Point spillway.  After Tuesday’s test Jody Farhat, chief of the Missouri River Water Management Division, said the spillway is fully operational.  The current water release rate is about 14,000 cubic feet per second but they will step that up with the spring melting.

I remember all to well the historic flooding of 2011.  I took the video above at Gavins Point Dam during the record flood water release.  If you recall that spring you’ll remember all the flooded houses, farms, business and displaced people.  There are still folks trying to recover after the devastation.  I recall that when I was filming this footage I had the chance to talk to a couple that was standing next to me at the dam.  As the spray of the fast water hit our faces they told me of their house down stream that was barely escaping the ravages of the flood water behind the fragile safety of hundreds of sand bags.  You could just feel their sense of helplessness.  I later found out that they lost the battle with the river.

It looks like the spring of 2013, at this point, will not bring us a repeat of that horrific flooding.  Amen.  And I sure hope the government departments that manage the flow of the mighty Missouri learned something from the mistakes of 2011.


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