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Jan-20-2012 16:15printcomments

Corps to release water stored behind Willamette Valley dams

"We’ll do everything we can to keep water levels below the tops of the riverbanks..." Erik Petersen, operations project manager for the Corps’ Willamette Valley Projects.

Willamette basin

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin increasing the amount of water released from its 13 dams in the Willamette River Basin this weekend, to prepare for storms predicted to arrive next week.

Residents immediately downriver of Dexter, Dorena and Fern Ridge dams may see water levels exceed bankfull levels.

The Corps has been holding releases from its dams to the minimum the past few days to help reduce flood damage to downstream communities, but needs to incre ase available flood storage for another strong storm system meteorologists predict will arrive in the Willamette Valley by the middle of next week.

"We’ll do everything we can to keep water levels below the tops of the riverbanks, but people downriver of our dams should expect to see continued high water levels for the few days as we lower our reservoirs and get ready to protect our communities from the next storm," said Erik Petersen, operations project manager for the Corps’ Willamette Valley Projects.

For more information about current water releases and levels at the Corps’ Willamette Valley Project dams, visit http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/water/home_levels.asp.

Updates will also be available via Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/portlandcorps and http://twitter.com/portlandcorps.

The 13 Corps dam and reservoir projects in the Willamette River Basin contribute to a water resource management system that provides flood damage reduction, supports power generation, irrigation, water quality improvement, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation on the Willamette River and several of its tributaries. Since their completion, the dams have cumulatively prevented over $20 billion in flood damages to the Willamette Valley.

For more information, please visit http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/locations/willamettevalley.asp.

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