Thursday, July 02, 2015

The Flood of 2015

Update:  Things are back to normal.  Here's my final post.

July 1, 08:00: Floodgates are open, but not all the way.  Why?  Lake levels are as high as they've been in recent memory, now at 662.34ft and still rising.  Damage around the lake is already well underway and when the boats start moving in earnest during the holiday weekend things will get very bad indeed. Unless Ameren cranks open the floodgates much more, it is unlikely we will be back at normal levels within the next 24 hours, but the Osage can only take so much more.  Flooding in the Jefferson City area downstream is already pronounced.

All 12 Floodgates are open
Here's a chart of the last four days.  I left in the last two days of June as reference.  I'll be updating this throughout the day.

Notice that at 8am, things begin deviating from the average. The rain was coming down pretty hard and by 10am Ameren opened the floodgates 10% of capacity.  Judging by the current discharge of nearly 80,000 cubic feet per second, they've opened them to about 30% capacity since. At fully open, the Bagnell Dam is capable of releasing over 200,000cfs, but that hasn't happened since the 1940's and the effect was disastrous downriver.  The current flow rate is predictably devastating to the Osage River, rising nearly 12 feet in the past 24 hours.