The Bagnell Dam spill gates were opened Wednesday as the National Guard helped evacuate areas in Missouri around the town of Bagnell and the Wood River Campgrounds after heavy flooding swelled the Osage River.
Miller County 911 director Michael Arnold ordered everyone along the banks of the Osage River to leave, including in the towns of Bagnell and Tuscumbia, as Ameren Missouri opened the dam's spill gates late Wednesday morning, The News Tribune in Jefferson City reported.
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Officials opened Bagnell Dam’s floodgates after Lake of the Ozarks topped regulated water levels. Gov. Jay Nixon deployed 50 National Guardsmen to assist local authorities in flooded areas throughout the Mid-Missouri Ozarks region.
Heavy rain and runoff caused the lake to rise to 661 feet above sea level Wednesday. The gates will remain open until the lake drops to 660 feet, a federal regulation.
Kent Martin, a spokesman for Ameren in St. Louis, told KSPR-TV
he does not know how long it will take the lower lake level to drain but how long the gates remain open depends on the duration of the rain in the area.
Martin said the floodgates are slightly ajar and will discharge about 45,000 cubic feet of water per second.
The flood waters traveled into the roadway in Tuscumbia before the dam’s floodgates opened Wednesday. Missouri Department of Transportation employees assisted in excavating ditches and trying to control run off that was filtering water, mud and debris over Missouri Highway 17, the News Tribune reported.
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