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Pokegama, Big Sandy reservoirs expected to rise

ST. PAUL – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is currently managing the Mississippi River Headwaters reservoirs to reduce flood concerns after recent rain events.

Corps staff at Big Sandy Lake Recreation Area, near McGregor, Minn., recorded 3.18 inches of precipitation during the past seven days. This rainfall fell directly on the entire watershed and will increase the lake levels on Big Sandy. The current estimated crest is between elevation 1,220 and 1,221 feet and should occur toward the end of May. The Corps has the dam fully open in an effort to lower the lake level.

The Corps has cut water releases from the Pokegama Dam, near Grand Rapids, to reduce rising waters over the flood stage at Aitkin. As a result, the Corps anticipates Pokegama Lake levels will rise an additional 6 inches to approximately elevation 1,275.3 feet before cresting in approximately 10 days.

The current Mississippi River stage at Aitkin appears at or near the crest. Additional precipitation may cause a revision of these forecasts.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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