Officials continue to monitor ice and conditions on the James River, according to James Dixon, manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Pipestem Dam.
"We cut releases slightly Friday," he said. "... we started to see the river levels rise meaning there was ice forming somewhere."
Releases were reduced 50 cubic feet per second to 200 cfs from Pipestem Dam. Releases remain at 450 cfs from Jamestown Dam for a combined 650 cfs flowing through Jamestown. Plans call for continuing this level of release until March 2 in order to lower the reservoirs to the proper levels to accommodate the spring melt.
The continued releases from the dams are causing the ice on the reservoirs to shift and remain unstable and unsafe, Dixon said.
"The ice looks normal," he said, "but it has been dropping significantly every day. There are some significant voids (air spaces between the ice and water) out there."
The Stutsman County Sheriff's Office has prohibited recreational activities on the Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs and the James River because of the unstable ice conditions.
Dixon said officials will continue to monitor river levels and could adjust releases if ice forms and the river levels rise. That possibility is less likely with the higher temperatures in the forecast for the next week.
"Even with the mild temperatures, we're not out of the woods yet," he said.