A hydrology civil engineer from the University of Missouri-Rolla has some suspicions as to what caused the catastrophic failure of a reservoir on a mountain top in southeast Missouri. The Taum Sauk Reservoir was breached and released 1.5-Billion gallons of water across Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park near Lesterville. Charles Morris believes the reservoir walls could have been the victims of “piping” – water seeping through and eroding the dam. And, Morris says that material coming out with the water indicates the inner part of the dam or levee is eroding away and could have a catastrophic failure. A hazards-mitigation team from the University of Missouri-Rolla is at the breach today trying to figure out for sure what happened.
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