The Bagnell Dam first went into operation back in 1931. It holds back the water of the Lake of the Ozarks before releasing into the Osage River below. Those flood gates are usually not open this time of year. In fact, you have to go back to May of 2011 for the last time these flood gates were needed.
At the peak of the storm this morning, the inflow of water to the lake briefly reached 90,000 cubic feet per second.
It`s really not the dam that is the issue. It`s the level of the water on the lake above the dam and on the Osage river below.
On the lake above, the high water threatens to over wash levees and sea walls causing damage to homes and docks, while down below, release of the water along an already flooded Osage River threatened campers, farmers, and home owners below.
Ameren thought long and hard about whether to open the flood gates but with the potential for more big rains through the end of the week, they decided to error on the side of caution.