Flood gates opened at Table Rock Dam Monday

Keeping the lake levels in check after recent rain
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 8:09 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The First Alert Weather Team stayed busy last week tracking our rounds of rain and thunderstorms across the Ozarks. After the rain passed through small creeks, rivers and streams, the water found its way into our area lakes and resulted in higher lake levels.

Table Rock Lake sat at over 918 feet above sea level on Monday. That certainly is an improvement from the much lower levels we had last summer.

To keep the lake levels in check, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened floodgates 3 and 5 at 9:00 Monday morning. It was a tremendous amount of water coming through at a rate of 19,461 gallons per second.

Branson Fire and Rescue posted on Facebook that the operation wouldn’t lead to any flooding threats. Anglers, fishers, and boaters just had to deal with some swift-moving water downstream throughout the day. The spectacle drew some people out to have a look.

“We came up 165, and we thought, Oh! Score!” says Tim Hoehn, who stopped by with his 3 grandchildren who were enjoying a day off from school. Plus, it wasn’t the first time that Hoehn has seen this in the 30 years he’s been in the Ozarks.

“We’ve seen them all up and running,” Hoehn says. “We videotaped it. We’ve probably been here five, six times watching it. It’s really quite a sight. They don’t open those gates that often. Whenever they’re open, you have to take the opportunity to see it.”

It’s also an opportunity for his granddaughter, Janie. “I was really surprised because I’ve never seen this much water,” she says. “It’s surprising how fast and how much and how it can fill this whole entire lake.”

Janie also pointed out how some of the anglers and fishers had some better luck on Monday. “We came over here and looked at the fishermen,” she said. “They were, like, ‘Yeah, we got a six-foot catfish.’ And I’m like, wow!”

Given how we’ll have more rain chances this week, the First Alert Weather Team will continue to keep an eye on area rivers and lakes as they could rise some more by the end of the week.

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