Ameren advises dock owners on water level changes

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LAKE OZARK - Ameren Missouri is advising dock owners to look out for changes in water levels at the Lake of the Ozarks and Osage River. 

The combination of icy weather and low water levels can cause damage to docks. One Ameren engineer said the extent of that damage can cost dock owners a lot of money.

"Docks can literally freeze into the ice," Alan Sullivan, a consulting engineer with Ameren, said. "As the water level falls, then that ice collapses and can damage the dock."

Ameren Missouri usually lowers the water level at Lake of the Ozarks to reduce the chances of flooding during spring rains. Water levels also change at the Osage River when Ameren's Bagnell Dam releases water to meet increased demand for electricity.

Sullivan said buying a deicer can better protect docks during icy weather. Sullivan also said extending the dock cables, double checking hinges and pins for flexibility, and having neighbors look out for a dock while the owner is out of town may help protect it as well.