BRANSON, Mo. – The rain that falls in Springfield this weekend will have to go somewhere and chances are most of it will end up in Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo.
With the flood of 2015 fresh in their minds, business owners and residents in Branson are preparing for the worst case scenario.
“December 2015, we had about six- to eight-inches of water that came into the condo buildings,” says Pointe Royale general manager, Misty Brinell.
“This is what we hope is our solution to prevent that,” she says.
The Pointe Royale Golf Village purchased a new line of defense against Lake Taneycomo flooding called an AquaDam.
The structure is “inflated” with water and, in the case of the resort, is 300-feet long and three-feet high when full.
Pointe Royale resident, Louie Keener, bought a 70 foot-long Aqua Dam for his home.
“[The idea] has been in the back of my mind since the last [flood],” he says, “but we were hoping that this would go south of us or north of us and it doesn’t appear like it’s going to.”
“We just hope and pray it’s only what happened last time,” Keener says.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently releasing 15,000 cubic feet per second of water from Table Rock Dam while a generator undergoes maintenance.
If the rainfall results in flooding similar to 2015, the Corps will be releasing upwards of 75,000 cubic feet per second.
“It seems like if Beaver Lake fills up, Table Rock fills up and it gets in the right water shed, we’re going to get flooded,” Keener says.
The city of Branson has also purchased an Aqua Dam to protect the waste water treatment facility located near to Lake Taneycomo. Flooding two years ago got within two inches of the building.
While the city waits for the rain, CERT team members and volunteers are going to low-lying neighborhoods to warn residents of the forecast.
“If it becomes a situation that anybody is concerned with, then they literally will come door-to-door and let them know that it’s time to consider evacuating,” says Branson Alderwoman, Cris Bohinc.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is stressing again that low-lying areas hit in 2008, 2011 and 2015, could see high water again.
“So we’re just as a preventive measure going to everyone possible,” she says.
The city of Branson says residents can stay up-to-date on potential dam releases by using a weather radio, signing up for the city’s email alert system and monitoring city Facebook pages.