Ameren to make a decision on flooding: residents preparing downstream

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LAKE OZARK - Ameren is working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Truman Reservoir to control water release from overflowing dams upstream. They are working to maintain water levels while avoiding more flooding on the Missouri and Osage rivers. 

An Ameren news release states lake levels measured at Bagnell Dam are projected to fluctuate between 660 and 662 feet.

Ameren is scheduled to hold a news conference Friday at 12:30 p.m. to discuss the situation. 

Water is continuously flowing into Lake Ozark from Truman Reservoir which is at full capacity. Reservoirs upstream have been holding back floodwater for the past month according to the Ameren news release.

Ameren says with all reservoirs now near full,[dams] have started discharging water and are projected to discharge higher amounts. 

The National Weather service has predicted the water level downstream from Bagnell will be rising by one foot this weekend near a gauge along the Osage River

That level would depend on rain and release from upstream dams.

Some residents along the river have water in their basements due to the flooding. One landowner says he has measured his yard to keep track of the continued rising water as it is sitting in his basement.

"If it continues rising it'll be on the first floor which is even more devastating" said  Bruce Wansing.

The only access road to the neighborhood has been cut off from rising water in the last 24 hours. Residents are now using a gravel crossing behind an RV park located next to it. 

"If it comes up another two or three foot probably both points are going to be cut off and there wont be access," said Wansing.

He said he's prepared to boat out if that happens. 

Captain Bob Grider of Celebration Crusies on Lake Ozark says full pool on the Lake Ozark side is 660 feet. He has observed levels move between 659 and 659.5 the last couple days with Truman Reservoir's release. 

He says although water levels will not affect their cruise operation, he worries release will hurt people downstream.

Grider said "there is already a lot of water, a lot of flooding and so potential for that to increase could create more damage."