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Opening of Floodgates at Table Rock Lake Dam Causes Flooding in Branson

Heavy rainfall over the past few days has led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to open the floodgates at the Table Rock Dam in Branson, releasing 53,600 cubic feet of water per second. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe reports.

Homes surrounding Lake Taneycomo, as well as the Lakeside RV park, have been evacuated, but Dave Liebenow, executive director of the Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce, says that it will help prevent worse flooding in more populated areas along the Mississippi River.

“It’s a control factor going downstream to prevent additional flooding down into, as you get down to Memphis and New Orleans and that type of areas that follow that whole course, to keep flooding at a minimum.”

Liebenow says the tributaries that flow into Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake are to blame for the flooding. They are the highest they’ve been since 2008. Jerry Adams is a spokesman for the city of Branson.

“Many of the homes are now vacant because these people moved out after the first round of rains at the end of April and the beginning of May. What’s flooding now are homes that are basically vacant. A few people have gone back in to start making some repairs, minor repairs, but they have now been forced to leave.”

Adams sees the actions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as necessary, and puts the blame on the latest batch of heavy rain.

“It’s mother nature. Rain, rain, rain is what’s causing this. And not just the rains on Table Rock Lake, but the rains all up and down the White River Basin.”

Liebenow says that the water levels at Table Rock Lake have risen a foot and a half in the past 24 hours, and are expected to peak sometime later today.

For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.