OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (July 28, 2022) – Ameren Missouri will test the Bagnell Dam Emergency Warning System at noon on Wednesday, August 3. This is a good reminder for residents who live downstream from the dam to revisit their safety plans.
"These siren tests aim to prevent residents from getting caught flat-footed in the extremely unlikely event of a structural failure at the dam, when time is of the essence," said Travis Hart, manager of operations at Osage Energy Center. “A $53 million reliability upgrade enhanced the overall safety of Bagnell Dam – but it’s still important for residents to understand the safety procedures.”
The Bagnell Dam warning system is in place to alert residents and visitors of emergencies at the dam. Three sirens along the lower Osage river cover the first five miles below Bagnell Dam. The siren system has a distinctly different sound from the area’s severe storm sirens and includes a voice announcement during testing that states, “This is a test of the Bagnell Dam Emergency Warning System.” If an actual breach were to occur, the announcement would explain the nature of the emergency and signal to residents and visitors that they should seek higher ground immediately.
Emergency response agencies and local media will be notified in the event of an emergency, as boaters on the lake are unlikely to hear the sirens. A dam failure would have several effects on the lake as well. Lower lake levels would make normally traversable areas shallow. It would also increase water current and the amount of drift debris on the lake. Swimmers and boaters near the dam who notice these conditions should move to shore immediately.
Downstream residents should keep the following tips in mind when formulating their flash flood safety plans:
"Just as your family has a safety plan for a tornado, making flood preparations is the responsible thing to do and should not be cause for alarm,” Hart said. “We do not have any safety concerns for the structural integrity of Bagnell Dam.”
Ameren Missouri adheres to strict safety standards as part of its FERC operating license for Bagnell Dam. Facility personnel conduct daily inspections of the dam to ensure all equipment is functioning properly and the structure remains sound. A specialized team of engineers inspects the dam quarterly and the federal government conducts an annual inspection.
Bagnell Dam houses Ameren Missouri's Osage Energy Center. In a typical year, the Osage Energy Center produces more than 500 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy, saving our nation about 1 million barrels of oil or 1 million tons of coal each year. To learn more about Bagnell Dam, visit Ameren.com/Lake.
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 135,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.