Gavins Point Dam Then / Now [VIDEO]
What a difference a couple of years makes. I remember so vividly on June 8th, 2011 when I drove down to Gavins Point Dam near Yankton and took this video. I was one of many folks who made the trip that morning to watch the record release of water as it ripped through the dam gates. I talked with on husband and wife who had a house just down stream from the dam. At that time they had water in their yard but the sandbags were keeping the house dry. That didn't last long as a few days later they had to evacuate as they were being flooded out. It was just a couple of days after I shot this video that the Army Corp of Engineers bumped up the water flow to a record 155,000 cubic feet per second. Today they are scaling back the water flow to 14,000 cfp according to the Army Corp. Now, of course, the big problem is drought and according to KELOLAND.com a build up of debris:
That's why a crew that includes divers is working at the dam. They're going into the water to inspect the concrete slab that runs below the river channel. They're also drilling 40 holes in the concrete to test the gravel base below it. The work isn't only needed because of the dam's age, but also because of the flooding of 2011. Before crews can do much more, they have to remove an estimated 8 million pounds of sediment and other debris from the submerged concrete surface.
Another desire from down stream folks is that they would increase the release from all of the dams on the Missouri to aid the barge traffic. Because the drought conditions the Mississippi is running dangerously low. The question is what would that do to the wildlife and commerce of the Missouri river? Do you think they should drain the Might Mo even more?