Bighorn River update, May 31, 2011, 7:10pm

An important late update just came in. Please read this one carefully, and note there is an attachment, which I strongly urge to read and save.Here’s the latest from Reclamation:Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with notification of Reclamations plans to increase our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. Following discussions with Bighorn County Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) and the Crow Tribe, we plan to increase our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River this evening. Our intent remains to continue following the receding river levels on the Bighorn River with increased releases as closely as we can. We are planning to make the following change this evening: Tuesday, May 31 at 9 PM: Releases from Yellowtail will be increased from 10,000 cfs to 11,000 cfsWhile we remain sensitive to homeowners and landowners adjacent to the Bighorn River, releases greater than 11,000 cfs can be expected in the coming days. Accordingly, property owners occupying low-lying areas that are subject to flooding are strongly encouraged to take appropriate precautions, including sandbagging or other measures, to protect property and possessions. We also encourage affected property owners to work closely with the Big Horn County DES Office in Hardin in these preparations.Finally, attached is information that we provided to the Big Horn County DES, Montana State DES, Crow Tribe, BIA, and Montana Department of Transportation earlier this afternoon. We remain in very close communication with each of these agencies regarding our projected operations for the upcoming weeks. [Click here to view the attachment]Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you,Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov

One more increase to 11,000cfs coming tonight

Looks like one more increase is coming yet tonight: Streamflows downstream of Yellowtail Dam and Bighorn Lake continue to recede. To control reservoir storage and continue preparing for the anticipated spring snowmelt runoff, the following operation change is required at Yellowtail Dam and Powerplant. Tonight at 9pm river releases will be increased from 10,000cfs to 11,000cfs

Flows going back to 10,000cfs

Here’s the latest from Reclamation. Please note that flows are expected to exceed 10,000cfs in the coming days, and make sure that your property and possessions are adequately protected. Email me if you need phone numbers or assistance. Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with notification of Reclamations plans to increase our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. Following discussions with Bighorn County DES and the Crow Tribe, we plan to increase our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River this afternoon. Our intent remains to continue following the receding river levels with increased releases as closely as we can. We are planning to make the following changes today:Tuesday, May 31 at 1 PM: Releases from Yellowtail will be increased from 8,000 cfs to 9,000 cfsTuesday, May 31 at 5 PM: Releases from Yellowtail will be increased from 9,000 cfs to 10,000 cfs While we remain sensitive to homeowners and landowners adjacent to the Bighorn River, releases greater than 10,000 cfs can be expected in the coming days. Accordingly, property owners occupying low-lying areas that are subject to flooding are encouraged to take appropriate precautions, including sandbagging or other measures, to protect property and possessions. We also encourage property owners to work closely with the Big Horn County Disaster and Emergency Services Office in Hardin. Please contact me if you have any questions.Thank you, Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov

Releases to increase to 10,000cfs and higher

Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with notification of Reclamations plans to begin increasing our releases from Yellowtail Dam. Following discussions with Bighorn County DES and the Crow Tribe, and taking into account the latest forecast information from the National Weather Service, we plan to increase our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River as early as Tuesday morning. Our intent remains to continue following the receding river levels with increased releases as closely as possible. Releases will be increased from 8,000 cfs to approximately 10,000 cfs in two increases of 1,000 cfs each as soon as conditions allow. The exact timing of these increases will be determined later this evening or early Tuesday morning. While we remain sensitive to homeowners and landowners adjacent to the Bighorn River, releases above 10,000 cfs can be expected in the coming days. Accordingly, property owners occupying low-lying areas that are subject to flooding are encouraged to take appropriate precautions. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you, Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov

Flows to drop back to 8,000cfs as storm passes

Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with notification of Reclamations plans to temporarily reduce our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. As a result of potentially heavy rainfall and high runoff forecast information from the National Weather Service, we are planning to make the following change later this evening: Saturday, May 28: Releases from Yellowtail will be reduced from 10,000 cfs to 8,000 cfs We remain sensitive to homeowners and landowners adjacent to the Bighorn River, and are trying to be cautious in our releases from Yellowtail. Likewise, Reclamation is continuing to work very closely with Big Horn County Disaster and Emergency Services, and the Crow Tribe, to monitor conditions downstream of Yellowtail Dam as we change our releases. Please be advised that as conditions allow, and the forecasted storm system passes through the area, you can expect our releases to be increased at least to the 10,000 cfs level in the coming days. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you, Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov

Flows to increase to 10,000cfs

Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with notification of Reclamations plans to continue increasing our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. Following discussions with Bighorn County DES and the Crow Tribe, we plan to increase our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River this afternoon. Our intent remains to continue following the receding river levels with increased releases as closely as we can, without inducing impacts associated with high water levels any further. We are planning to make the following changes today: Friday, May 27 at 12 noon: Releases from Yellowtail will be increased from 7,000 cfs to 8,000 cfs Friday, May 27 at 4:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail will be increased from 8,000 cfs to 9,000 cfs Friday, May 27 at 8:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail will be increased from 9,000 cfs to 10,000 cfs We remain sensitive to homeowners and landowners adjacent to the Bighorn River, and are trying to be cautious in our efforts to raise our releases from Yellowtail. Likewise, Reclamation is continuing to work very closely with Big Horn County Disaster and Emergency Services, and the Crow Tribe, to monitor conditions as we increase our releases. Please be advised that as conditions allow, additional increases in our releases may continue in the coming days. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you, Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov

Bighorn and Mallard’s FAS remain open

This morning Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks incorrectly listed Bighorn FAS and Mallard’s Landing FAS as closed.They are OPEN, and this has since been corrected. However, all state fishing access sites below Mallard’s Landing to the confluence of the Yellowstone remain closed except for emergencies. Be aware that road, bridge and culvert repair is currently ongoing around both routes in and out of Three Mile access. Be prepared to experience detours and delays if you intend to use Three Mile access from now through the weekend. Phone service to residences and business in the Three Mile access area has also been disrupted.