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      Dock owners want advanced notice of water release

      Dock owners along the Osage River in Cole County want Ameren Missouri to continue giving them advanced notice of when the company will release water from the Lake of the Ozarks into the river for energy generation.

      Ameren sent out a notification Thursday that their water release would be larger than usual because of high demand from frigid temperatures. Dorothy Rotter says the advanced notification allowed her and her husband to better secure her dock.

      "We heard it on channel 13, KRCG TV...we have tethered ours differently since the ones that were broken at the last opening of the gates. We've had to put some new metal and tethered it and chained it differently that we had it before, because it broke a lot of things ," Rotter said.

      Rotter said the last time Ameren made a major water release, about two months ago, the dock owners were given no warning ahead of time to adjust their docks.

      The result; huge ice chunks rushing down the river, damaging and ruining docks along the stretch.

      Rotter said her son-in-law's pontoon dock, which is next to her own, was completely swept away and found about an hour down river.

      "Some of the docks above us were totally demolished, which have not been repaired. Out dock was actually pushed up on the bank, broke from the gangway. And there was ice all around it...which you couldn't get to it at that point because it was huge. Yeah, it looked like a war zone down here," Rotter said of the damage caused by the previous water release.

      She said her primary concern is continuing to get advanced notice of the major water releases so she and her neighbors can adjust the docks.

      An Ameren representative told KRCG 13 Friday that releasing water from the Lake of the Ozarks is standard practice for energy generation. While they will not notify residents before every major water release, they will send out a notice at the beginning of the winter cautioning of possible dangers.