All floodgates open at the Bagnell Dam
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - With the huge amounts of rainfall over the past few days, the Ameren crews operating the Bagnell Dam decided to open all of the flood gates.
They've been open since 4:30 Sunday morning.
Alan Sullivan, consulting engineer for Bagnell Dam and Ameren, said it's the first time since December 2015 that all of the floodgates of the dam have been opened. Sullivan said he has never seen so much rain and flooding at the dam in a 24-hour period.
"We experienced about six inches of rain here at Bagnell Dam and all over the Lake of the Ozark's basin. Such that, between noon on Saturday and noon on Sunday the level of the Lake of the Ozarks rose about four feet, which is unprecedented for the Lake of the Ozarks," Sullivan said.
The unusual situation is drawing visitors to the dam.
"Anytime we have floodgates open at Bagnell Dam a lot of people like to come and look and some like to fish as you can see. But mostly seeing the floodgates open is a pretty spectacular site," Sullivan said.
And people have traveled from all over to see the floodgates open.
Claymon Johnston, from Dixon, was visiting with his siblings.
"When dad was a kid he would come here and look at it and so we figured we would come down here and look at it," Johnston said.
Sullivan said Ameren has gradually stopped the discharge of water from the floodgates, but is still monitoring the water levels since more rain is on the way.