USGS starts study of Missouri River along Washburn
By Michael Johnson, Editor
The average person can tell that the Missouri River flowing by Washburn looks different from the same river a year ago. The level has risen, the speed of flow has increased and this combination is changing the river, landscape and homeowners’ lives dramatically. It’s what can’t be seen that puzzles many. The United States Geological Service was in town on Thursday performing the first of many tests that will be completed weekly until the discharge has peaked. A three-man crew worked from the bridge conducting a series of tests using three instruments placed into the river. Bob Lundgren, a USGS hydrologist, was one of the surveyors and said that the first step was to check bed load with the largest of the tools. They lower the fish-shaped tool down into the river and it captures a scoopful of sediment from the bed of the river. The next two tools are more torpedo-shaped. One takes samples of the sediment in the flow to determine how much sediment is in the discharge. The other takes a sample of the sediment bouncing on the bottom.