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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
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332 Minnesota St., Suite E1500
St. Paul, MN 55101

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Big Sandy Lake reaches full drawdown level

Published March 14, 2014
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, announced today that they will hold Big Sandy Lake Reservoir, near McGregor, Minn., at its full winter drawdown level to minimize spring flood concerns.

Corps staff recently completed snow surveys within the watershed and determined the average water content within the snowpack is 5 inches. This amount of precipitation could potentially fill the reservoir to an elevation between 1,217.5 and 1,218.5 feet. Due to the water content and the current reservoir elevation, the Corps plans to hold the reservoir elevation at its current level until the snow melt begins and the pool starts to fill. There are several facts that can influence the speed and extent of the runoff to include future precipitation and temperature changes.

The Corps reached the current drawdown level elevation of 1,214.3 feet, which is 2 feet below the middle of the summer operating level, March 6. The top of the summer level, or band, is elevation 1,216.56 feet.

Corps staff will continue monitoring the snowpack for any signs of potential flooding within the region. The staff takes weekly snow and ice measurements and that information is provided to the district’s water management team as well as the National Weather Service.

The nearly 650 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2011 $175 million budget, nearly 2,800 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $271 million to the national economy. For more information, see



Release no. 14-018