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

Phone: (651) 290-5807
Fax: (651) 290-5752 


Corps of Engineers’ Pokegama, Big Sandy reservoirs expected to rise

Published May 14, 2014
ST. PAUL, Minn. – 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, Minn., to reduce rising waters over the flood stage at Aitkin, Minn. 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 require a revision of these forecasts.  

For current information regarding St. Paul District reservoirs, please visit our water management website at:

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



Public Affairs

Release no. 14-036