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Sakakawea to remain high as levels approach spillway

MINOT, N.D. -- Lake Sakakawea was less than a foot from spilling on Friday with more water entering the upper end of the reservoir than being released through Garrison Dam.

The level of Sakakawea was 1,853.14 feet, just shy of the spillway level of 1,854 feet.

Lake Sakakawea is not the only reservoir on the Missouri River system experiencing high water. Fort Peck Dam in Montana has been releasing water through its power plant and spillway for several weeks. The level of Lake Oahe is on the rise due to rainfall runoff and 60,000 cubic feet per second of water being released from Sakakawea. Further downstream Big Bend, Fort Randall and Gavins Point Dams are all at very high levels.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, releases from Gavins Point, the last reservoir in the system, will be stepped up to as much as 60,000 cfs in the coming days.

Weather forecasts for the basin for the next two weeks favor warmer than usual temperatures and less than normal rainfall, both factors of which are included in the Corps' outlooks.