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As for how much water passed through the gates of Bagnell Dam in those 8 years? About 19,725 BILLION gallons, or technically 19.725 Trillion gallons. That sounds like a lot of water, and it is, but comparatively speaking it's not as much as you might think. By the numbers, it took eight years for enough water to pass through Bagnell Dam to cover an area the size of Missouri to a depth of only about one and half feet (1.36 to be precise), but it was enough that it could raise the level of Lake Michigan four feet. To really put it in perspective? Water flowing over the Canadian Horseshoe falls of Niagara could pass that same amount of water in one year and fifteen days. But it's a tremendous amount of water no matter how you look at it.