By Chris Gessele
BHG News Service
Tom Roe, Bismarck, has fished the upper stretch of the Missouri River hundreds of times. On Saturday, Roe stood above the Tailrace staring down at a furious, frothing, nearly-unrecognizable river.
“To see it now is just incredible,” he marveled.
Due to a Lake Sakakawea that is nearing capacity, for the first time in the Garrison Dam’s nearly 60-year history the dam’s spillway gates are being used to drain excess water from Lake Sakakawea into the Missouri River.
The Garrison Dam, a 210-foot high rolled earth embankment, normally allows Lake Sakakawea discharge through three regulatory tunnels having a combined discharge capacity of 98,000 cubic feet per second, and five power-generating tunnels having a combined discharge capacity of 41,000 cfs.
At press time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planned to discharge water in a controlled manner through the spillway gates the morning of Wednesday, June 1 for the first time in the history of the Garrison Dam.