PIEDMONT, Mo. – Heavy rains have filled Clearwater Lake and have resulted in a small discharge over the spillway. There is no net change in the total amount of water moving downstream from the dam.
Yesterday, releases were decreased to 3,800 cubic feet per second through the conduit, and about 700 c.f.s. across the overflow spillway. When flows over the spillway increases, releases from the conduit will be reduced to continue a total release of no more than 5,000 c.f.s., if possible. People at Piedmont and Poplar Bluff will not see any resulting rise in the Black River from these releases.
Spillway releases are not expected to last longer than a few days, as long as there are no more heavy rains. More rain could cause spillway releases to increase and to last for a longer period. This is the first time that the lake has been high enough for water to cross over the overflow spillway, although in 2011, the lake rose to within one-half inch of the top of the overflow spillway.
This morning the lake was at elevation 567.88, with 102 percent of its flood storage capacity being used. The lake is expected to crest at 568.5 on May 3, if there is no additional rain. The rim of spillway is at elevation 567.
With Clearwater so full, and more rain forecast people should decide beforehand whether to move livestock, equipment and belongings to higher ground. The closer to the dam you are, the faster river stages can rise. Large releases can occur during heavy rain with no more than an hour or two notice, and rapidly changing conditions could create even shorter notice.
People in at-risk areas should stay in contact with local emergency officials. If larger than normal releases are required from the dam, warnings will go out through local emergency channels.
Portions of Missouri Highway HH going to Clearwater Dam may have closures at times because of flood waters. Drivers are asked to pay attention to traffic signs that inform them of changes in road conditions and closures. For further road information visit the Missouri Department of Transportation website at http://traveler.modot.org/map/.
Army Corps of Engineers personnel are monitoring lake levels and maintaining 24-hour surveillance, and the dam is sound. Personnel from the Corps’ Clearwater Lake Project Office are staying in contact with state and local officials to coordinate public safety information.
Daily lake information can be obtained at www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil or the Corps’ mobile App which can be found in mobile App stores by searching for USACE Little Rock.