Releases from Jamestown Dam were reduced to 800 cubic feet per second Friday, according to a press release from the Jamestown engineer's office. Pipestem Dam releases continue at 1,000 cfs for a combined 1,800 cfs.

This completes the first four days of release reductions lowering the water flowing out of the Jamestown Dam from the 1,400 cfs maintained since August.

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Reductions planned for Oct. 25 will bring the releases from the Jamestown Dam to 650 cfs with 850 cfs from the Pipestem Dam for a combined 1,500 cfs.

"The reductions are going very well," said Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer. "Some areas are showing greater bank stability than anticipated."

Reductions in releases from the dams are done in stages to prevent the river banks from sloughing or collapsing into the river, Schwartzkopf said. Accumulations of material from the banks in the river channel can reduce the capacity of the river for future flood events.

"I expect to see the greatest possibility of bank sloughing in the next week," Schwartzkopf said. "We need to keep monitoring the river through all this."

Schwartzkopf said city personnel will begin to remove storm sewer pumps from along the river and breaching the dikes built in August.

Breaching the dikes allows any water from the dry side of the dike to flow into the river. The dikes themselves will be removed if the surrounding area is dry enough to support equipment. In wet areas dike removal will occur after the ground has frozen -- most likely in November.

City officials are also recommending residents keep basement floor drains plugged until at least Oct. 28 to prevent possible backups.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at knorman@jamestownsun.com