Lake Level Closes Kimberling City Bridge

The Bridge Sees More Than 8,000 Drivers Each Day

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. – For the first time in more than 40 years, the bridge in Kimberling City has been closed due to the water level in Table Rock Lake.

The water hitting the side of the bridge Monday, drew almost as many spectators as the water flowing out of Table Rock Dam the day before.

“Galena School was out and so I thought this is something [the kids] needed to see,” says Abesville resident, Kim Bruffett.

“We took them to see the flood waters yesterday in Ponce where they're live,” she says. “And I thought, you know, 'they need to come and see this too.’"

The bridge, which sees more than 8,000 cars each day, was closed by MoDOT crews at noon.

“From what (MoDOT) explained to me, bridges are made to absorb traffic going over them,” says Stone County Emergency Management Director, Tom Martin. “It's not made to absorb the winds and water hitting the side of the bridge."

The county has had practice with the bridge being closed before; it was shut down for a handful of 24-hour periods in 2015 and 2016 for maintenance. Emergency personnel are again staged on both sides of the bridge to compensate for the extra drive time.

But Martin says it’s unknown how long the bridge will be closed this time.

"We always look to see what's coming in the future,” he says. “And unfortunately, coming Wednesday, they're talking more rain."

It’s less than welcome news for those below the dam, who are currently being hit with 62,000 cubic feet per second coming out of the dam.

"(Taneycomo isn’t) up as bad as it was, but it's getting close," says Rockaway Beach resident, Louis Allen.

It’s unknown if the US Army Corps of Engineers will have to increase the flow coming out of Table Rock; it will depend on the inflow coming into the lake.

"I've lived here for six years and experienced two floods,” says Allen. “So it's becoming something you get used to."

The inflow into Table Rock is currently leveling off. The amount of water being released out of Beaver Lake Dam has been reduced from 55,000 c.f.s to 11,000 c.f.s.

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