The James River in Jamestown may remain ice-free through the remainder of the winter as releases of a combined 650 cubic feet per second continue from Jamestown and Pipestem dams, according to Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager and 911 coordinator.
Bergquist said ice had formed as far north as the area of the Jamestown Country Club during recent cold weather but no substantial ice has formed on the James River or Pipestem Creek in Jamestown.
Releases from Jamestown Dam are continuing at 450 cfs. The level of the lake behind the dam is still 5.6 feet above the winter elevation target of 1,429.8 feet above sea level. The Jamestown Reservoir is down about 6 feet from its peak at 1,442 feet above sea level on Nov. 12.
Releases from Pipestem Dam continue at 200 cfs. The level of the lake behind the dam is still 5 feet above its winter elevation target of 1,442.5 feet above sea level. The reservoir at Pipestem Dam is down about 27 feet from its peak at 1,475 feet above sea level on Oct. 29.
Bergquist said plans made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still call for the reservoirs to reach the planned winter elevations by about March 1. However, releases from the dams will continue at the current level to keep the James River at its current level downstream to prevent ice jams. The additional flow will also create additional storage capacity behind the dams for anticipated spring runoff.