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Corps of Engineers opening Upper St. Anthony Falls lock gate to reduce flood risk after recent rainfall

Published June 20, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is opening the Tainter gate at Upper St. Anthony Falls lock, in Minneapolis, today, June 20, to reduce the flood risk upstream of the lock. 

The National Weather Service forecast indicates Mississippi River flows will be near 50,000 cubic feet per second, or cfs, in the next few days. Opening the gate will reduce the flood threat to the area by allowing approximately 10,000 – 14,000 cfs to pass through the lock chamber. The St. Paul District will keep the gate open until the flows fall below 40,000 cfs.

This is the sixth time the St. Paul District has passed water through the chamber. The previous years that this has been done include 1965, 1969, 1997, 2001 and 2009.

Due to the high flows, the St. Paul District anticipates having to pull Tainter and roller gates at each of its dams from Lock and Dam 2, in Hastings, Minn., to Lock and Dam 10, in Guttenberg, Iowa, no later than June 23. The gates are pulled when they are no longer required to maintain the 9-foot navigation channel. When the gates are out of the water, the river is flowing naturally, as if the locks and dams weren't there. 

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 www.mvp.usace.army.mil.

 
* This news release has been updated to clarify that the dam gates from Lock and Dam 2 to Lock and Dam 10 are lifted to pass flows, NOT the miter gates within the lock chambers.

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Release no. 14-059