Releases increase today from Pipestem, Jamestown reservoirsThe Army Corps of Engineers began flood control releases today out of the Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs.
The Army Corps of Engineers began flood control releases today out of the Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs. Pipestem Dam is a corps project, while Jamestown Dam is a Bureau of Reclamation project regulated by the corps when reservoir pool levels reach the flood control zone. The dams are located on the James River and Pipestem Creek just north of Jamestown.
During the last several weeks, releases from the reservoirs were kept lower to minimize damages as runoff occurred downstream of the reservoirs. Stream gauges at Ypsilanti, Adrian, Grand Rapids and LaMoure now indicate downstream stages have peaked and are beginning to recede.
Today releases from Jamestown Dam were increased from 13 cfs to 100 cfs and releases from Pipestem Dam were increased from 100 to 200 cfs. Including runoff from within the city of Jamestown, this will result in a flow of 500 cfs at the James River stream gauge in Jamestown. Releases from the reservoirs will continue to be increased at a rate of 100 to 200 cfs per day over the next several days.
Based on current forecasts for reservoir inflows, combined releases from the reservoirs are not expected to exceed 1,800 cfs. If possible, the combined release rate will be held below 1,800 cfs to minimize the measures needed to prevent overbank flooding in the City of Jamestown.
The Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Weather Service continue to coordinate with the city of Jamestown concerning forecast reservoir levels and release rates.
Pipestem Reservoir is currently 1467.5 feet above mean sea level (msl) and rising at a rate of 4.0 feet per day. Jamestown Reservoir is currently at 1434.0 feet above msl and rising at a rate of 0.8 feet per day.
In 2010, Pipestem Reservoir peaked on April 15 at a level of 1,474.7 feet msl, 17.5 feet lower than the record of 1,492.2 feet msl in April, 2009. In 2010, Jamestown Reservoir peaked on April 15 at a level of 1445.8 feet msl, 8.3 feet lower than the record of 1,454.1 feet msl, also set in April 2009.
Residents along the James River downstream from Jamestown should continue monitoring flood forecasts by the National Weather Service and take measures as necessary to minimize damages from high river levels.