Long Branch Dam reaches record height, releases water

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MACON - The Long Branch Dam in Macon County started to release the water on Thursday morning. The lake reached 806 feet in the morning, which is its record height.

Mocan resident and regular state park visitor Sharon Clark said it is important to release the water from the lake now, as the water level is high. 

"They only let the certain amount of water to come down," she said. "If they keep it back up, it might affect some homes at the lake."

The US Army Corps of Engineers, who is managing the lake dam, said the dam gates open automatically whenever the water in the Long Branch Lake gets higher than 791 feet.

"The released water flows down to the east fork of Little Chariton River," said Phil Brown, operations project manager for the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Jon Barton from Macon regularly visits the beach area of the Long Branch State Park. Now it is fully covered with water. She said the beach is full of visitors when the weather is good, but Thursday no one was there. 

"Even driving up here, the water is almost at the same level as the road. I've never seen anything like that here," Barton said. "This is probably the worst flooding at the Long Branch Lake."

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