Docks damaged by floating ice by Osage River

Several residents who live along the Osage River in areas such as Jefferson City and Taos reported their docks being damaged due to ice floating down the river. (Megan Sanchez/KRCG 13) 

Several residents who live along the Osage River in areas such as Jefferson City and Taos reported damaged docks due to ice floating down the river.

Representatives from Ameren Missouri said this is not due to the dam. Company personnel has not opened the Bagnell Dam's spill gates because this season it was not necessary.

When it is required to open the spill gates, notification calls go out to residents who are signed up to receive them. The notification informs dock owners that this practice could drastically affect water levels, causing ice to break loose and travel down river.

However, when Ameren Missouri opens the dam for power generation, which representatives explain is different than opening the spill gates, they do not send out call notifications.

Representatives explain that the practice happens multiple times per day and only affects the river levels by a few feet. Since they open the dam so often, they don't send out a notification. They do however provide a tool for residents to check river levels.

When it is bitter cold, the need for power generation increases. This means the dam opens for power generation more frequently which resulted in the ice breaking free and damaging docks.

Every winter, Ameren sends out a notice about the risks posed by icing conditions along the Osage River. One of their suggestions is to remove docks before it gets cold, if possible.

Bobbi Price said for her family, that is not possible.

"Our dock you cannot pull in," she said. "I believe most of them down here you cannot."

Price has lived on the river for more than four years and said she wishes there was more direct communication to residents from Ameren.

"It would still be nice to be made aware of what's going to happen and what's going on," she said.

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