At Mark Twain Lake, nights are quiet, especially during the week. All sorts of animals can be heard, from frogs to owls to dogs or coyotes baying in the distance. This week, there has been another noise, a great whooshing sound that fills the night air.
We are approximately two miles from Clarence Cannon Dam. During the day, they are running the flood waters out of Mark Twain Lake at a consistent rate. All five doors are open, but they aren’t open all the way.
That changes during the night. The doors open a little wider, allowing for the water to come out at breath-taking speeds. It also creates noise similar to a large waterfall.
It travels on the dark night air. The frogs continue to make their presence known with their nighttime singing. Owls still hoot to one another as they search the blackness for food. The dogs or whatever, still bay at the wind, moon, and anything else that catches their fancy. But under it all, is that great whooshing of water spilling over the dam and filling the Salt River.
It is the first time, we have been able to hear the water flowing out of the dam. We’ve heard the buzzers before, letting us know that the dam was opening, but to hear the water… that’s new.
And the rain continues to come down, refilling whatever the Army Corp of Engineers has managed to bleed off.
And it isn’t just Mark Twain, for the first time since 1993, the Lake of the Ozarks opened all 11 doors on Bagnell Dam. All across the country, dams are opening more of their doors creating huge gaping mouths that gush water out into the rivers that feed them and feed from them.
For me, it is another interesting piece of noise. Something for me to listen to in the dark and ponder about during the day.