Ameren Missouri opens Bagnell Dam spill gates at Lake of the Ozarks

LAKE OZARK, Mo. -- Ameren Missouri opened the spill gates at Bagnell Dam at the Lake of the Ozarks Tuesday morning. And they could stay open for weeks.

To manage the amount of water released from Bagnell Dam, Ameren Missouri remains in contact with the Army Corps of Engineers, operators of the upstream Truman Dam. Ameren Missouri is also working with the Water Patrol Division of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which oversees boaters on the Lake.

"We are focused on safety, and we want residents along the Osage River and on the Lake of the Ozarks to be prepared for changing water conditions," said Warren Witt, director of hydro-operations at Ameren Missouri.

In addition to higher levels on the Osage, lake levels will also fluctuate. Residents 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.

"Water movement can cause wear on dock electrical equipment," Witt said. "I encourage all dock owners to perform regular checks and have both the dock and its power supply inspected by a qualified electrician."

Ameren Missouri offers these additional safety tips:

-High water levels increase the chance for large debris in the Lake and the Osage River.
-If you feel a shock, swim away from the dock and if possible, swim to the shoreline and exit the water there.
-Never energize or re-energize a ground fault circuit interrupter while swimmers are near the dock.