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Corps says spring rise will happen soon

By Kyle Palmer, KBIA

Columbia, MO. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say a controversial "spring rise" plan along the Missouri River will begin sometime in the "next couple of days".

The rise will release millions of gallons of water from reservoirs in Montana and the Dakotas to flow downstream... in a move to protect the spawning habits of the endangered pallid sturgeon.

The plan has drawn criticism from farmers in Missouri who worry extra water in the river... coupled with spring rains... could flood their land.

Corps spokesperson Paul Johnston says the agency has taken those concerns into consideration but says the river shouldn't rise any more than it does under normal conditions.

"We expect the river in the Omaha reach to go up about two and a half feet, but mid-Missouri it will taper off to a foot or less down there," Johnston said.

The Corps, in fact, delayed implementing the rise last week after a spate of heavy rain.

However, Corps officials say if ideal conditions are not met by Monday...the rise will be put on hold indefinitely.

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