Ameren Missouri announced spill gates at Bagnell Dam may open as soon as Saturday, June 8, sending additional water down the lower Osage River and creating the potential for flooding.

Ameren Missouri announced spill gates at Bagnell Dam may open as soon as Saturday, June 8, sending additional water down the lower Osage River and creating the potential for flooding.

To avoid additional flooding on the Missouri River, the Army Corps of Engineers has held back a tremendous amount of water in Truman Reservoir and other reservoirs upstream for the past month. Those reservoirs are now near full, have started discharging water and are projected to discharge higher amounts, depending on additional rainfall and when the Missouri River levels subside. Currently, Bagnell Dam is close to matching water discharge from the upstream Truman Dam. As Truman Dam continues to increase outflow, and because Lake of the Ozarks is near its maximum level, water will need to be released from Bagnell Dam through its spill gates.

"With safety foremost in our minds, we want to prepare residents and property owners along the lower Osage River and on Lake of the Ozarks by advising them to take precautions now,” said Warren Witt, director of hydro operations at Ameren Missouri. “We could have a higher-than-average release from the spill gates which would result in flooding. Residents should prepare by moving any vehicles, farm equipment and livestock in low-lying areas to higher ground."

Ameren Missouri continues to work closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, the operators of Truman Dam. To match the water release from Truman Dam, the output from Bagnell Dam may have to go as high as 85,000 cubic feet per second. That output is about double what can pass through the dam’s turbines, which generate electricity for Ameren Missouri customers.

To further prepare for flooding along the Osage River, Ameren Missouri offers the following advice:

Turn off electricity running to docks or any other structures that might be submerged. Exercise caution and consider having structures inspected by a qualified electrician before turning the power back on once the waters recede. Be aware of downed tree branches or debris in the river that high water may have created.

Lake of the Ozarks residents should also remain vigilant as official Lake levels measured at Bagnell Dam are projected to fluctuate between 660 and 662 feet, depending on rainfall. With the anticipated discharge from Bagnell Dam and Truman Dam, the Lake above the 65-mile marker could rise as high as 668 feet. Dock owners should consider turning off electricity to the structures, confirm their dock can fluctuate with lake levels or make them secure. The higher flows also create the possibility for a larger amount of floating debris in the Lake.

Ameren Missouri will continue to share information and provide updates to the Water Patrol Division of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which oversees boaters on the Lake. Information is also being shared with state, county and local emergency management agencies.

Residents at the Lake and along the Osage River have several options for the most up-to-date information. Hourly Lake water-level information is available at AmerenMissouri.com/lake, and a daily report on Lake of the Ozarks water levels is available at 573.365.9205.