JAMESTOWN, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – As continued releases are expected from both the Jamestown & Pipestem Dams, ice conditions will be unstable all winter long down the James River.

Updated forecasts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows the target combined release rate is 700 cfs by Wednesday, December 4th.

“The Corps of Engineers will operate to minimize the risk of ice-related flooding, and adjustments to the releases will be made as needed,” the Corps stated.

Signs that individuals will see along the James River in Dickey County. Photo: Charlie Russell

Because of this, communities downstream will continue to see unstable ice formation throughout the winter. Dickey County Emergency Manager Charlie Russell states that they’ve received their signage that will be posted at all Dickey County James River access points.

“With the high river flows scheduled all winter, ice activities such as fishing, snow mobile racing etc will be extremely dangerous. Ice will be thin and the changing flows may leave gaps between the ice and the water. If you fall through, rescue will be near impossible,” Russell stated.

Russell explains that the no winter use restrictions will be in place along the length of the James River to the state line.

Jamestown Dam on Monday was at a pool elevation of 1440.7 feet, 25% into the flood pool, and is dropping. The pool elevation peaked Nov. 12 at 1442.0 feet, which was 31% into the flood pool. Inflows are near around 500 cfs.

Pipestem Dam was at a pool elevation of 1460.2 feet, 18% into the flood pool, and is dropping. The pool elevation peaked Oct. 29 at 1475.0 feet, which was 43% into the flood pool. Inflows were near around 300 cfs.