Reservoir Low – Runoff Expectations High
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 31, 2017
After the huge amounts of snowfall that hit the region this winter, one might expect the Buffalo Bill Reservoir west of Cody to be at record depths.
But the reservoir is currently at just half its capacity, according to Homeland Security Director Mart Knapp. In anticipation of record amounts of snowmelt, the Bureau of Reclamation has been releasing 6000 cubic feet of water per second from the Buffalo Bill Dam. He says cooler nights and relatively cool temperatures have kept much of the snow in the mountains so far, but with temperatures in the 80s expected this week, the reservoir should start filling again by Friday.
So although the Bureau of Reclamation has released water from the reservoir to the point that you can actually see the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Shoshone River, Knapp says that will start to change by the weekend.
Knapp says that reports show that by Friday the inflow into the reservoir just from the North Fork is expected to be as much as 7600 cubic feet per second. By comparison, inflow from both the North and the South Forks in recent days has been just 5200 cfs, which has caused water levels in the reservoir to lower considerably because of the amount that is being released daily from the dam.
Knapp says that projections show that the North Fork of the Shoshone River could rise two feet Friday night.