ST. LOUIS – Management problems at AmerenUE caused the Taum Sauk reservoir collapse in December 2005, the Missouri Public Service Commission reports.
Ameren’s failure to repair faulty instruments caused the reservoir to breach on Dec. 14, 2005 sending more than a billion gallons of water rushing into Johnson’s Shut-Inns State Park. The floodwaters washed away the house of the park’s caretaker and injured the family of five. Nobody was killed. The PSC investigation centered on the placement and removal of safety probes, which stopped the automatic filling of the reservoir if water levels got too high. The 85-page report recommends Ameren make a number of management changes, including assigning one person to oversee safety at all of its power plants. Ameren has paid $40 million for the cleanup and is settlement negotiations with Missouri. The breach ravaged the popular Johnston’s Shut-Inns State Park, 85 miles south of St. Louis, forcing park officials to close the park for renovations. The park is expected to reopen in 2008.