"SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was warned from multiple sources early in the year that major flooding was likely on the Missouri River.
But by the time officials moved to 'evacuate' upstream reservoirs in anticipation of snowmelt, they were hampered by downstream flooding that prevented them from releasing more water, internal emails show.
In January, Corps officials were aware of above-average snowpacks in the Rocky Mountains. And they had National Weather Service reports showing that soil conditions had water saturations as high as 99 percent in much of the Dakotas and Montana.
Until mid-April, officials were confident they could manage the situation without major flooding. But within a few weeks the situation unraveled, leading to the most serious flooding on the Missouri in decades."
Jonathan Ellis and Cody Winchester report for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader July 24, 2011.