Omaha, Neb.—Due to record-setting snowpack conditions in Colorado, the head waters of the North Platte River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, expects high inflows this summer to Glendo Dam and Reservoir, located on the North Platte River about 80 miles southwest of Casper, Wyo. or about 100 miles north of Cheyenne. Glendo Dam is a Bureau of Reclamation project regulated by the Corps when the reservoir level reaches the flood-control zone.
Current snow pack conditions in the upper North Platte River Basin are above previous high runoff years of 1983, 1984 and 2010. Based on Reclamation and Corps forecasts, the Corps expects a total system runoff volume of 2,370,000 acre-feet from April through July 2011.
"The anticipated runoff volume could be substantially altered depending on additional snowfall or rainfall, and we will continue to aggressively monitor snow pack conditions and provide updated forecasts as conditions change, in conjunction with the Reclamation, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the National Weather Service," said Col. Robert J. Ruch, Omaha District Commander.
Weekly coordination meetings have been held with representatives from multiple city, county, and state offices as well as federal agencies in Nebraska and Wyoming.
High snowpack conditions are also affecting Lake McConaughy water levels and releases. On May 23, Corps officials, the National Weather Service, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (CNPPID) met with officials from the Nebraska Department of Emergency Services and the city of North Platte to discuss current snowpack conditions and any measures that might be taken to minimize impacts as increasing flows pass through Lake McConaughy. The Corps, in cooperation with the City of North Platte, has placed staff gages within the community at several key locations along the North Platte River and South Platte River to collect river level data to assist in monitoring these river levels.
With less channel capacity along the North Platte River from Glendo Reservoir to North Platte, Nebraska, due to vegetation and siltation, higher river level values will be experienced, though similar flow values from past events can be expected.
The Corps forecasts for the North Platte River are indicated in the table below:
| Glendo Reservoir Release ||Passing Tri-State Diversion||Mitchell, Nebraska||Bridgeport, Nebraska||Lewellen, Nebraska||North Platte, Nebraska|
|Peak flow||7,500 cfs||10,000 - 11,000 cfs (1)||10,500 - 12,000 cfs (1)||11,000 - 13,000 cfs (1)||11,500 - 13,500 cfs (1)||6,000 - 7,500 cfs (2)|
|Current flow as of June 7||6,300 cfs||7,300 cfs||7,500 cfs||7,400 cfs||7,700 cfs||5,500 cfs|
|Estimated River Rise (3)||not available||1-2 feet||2-3.5 feet||1-2 feet||1-2 feet||0.5-1.5 feet|
|(1) Assumes varying Laramie River flows|
| (2) Peak flow at North Platte, NE with projected operations plan from CNPPID |
(3) The river rise is based on the stream gage and may be higher or lower due to backwater along the river