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State to use emergency funds to cover reservoir break costs

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The hole left by the broken reservoir in Lesterville, Mo. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The state of Missouri will use emergency funds to cover the costs of dealing with last week's rupture of a reservoir in southeast Missouri.

Governor Matt Blunt has directed the Department of Natural Resources to use the emergency funds until Ameren UE can pay the state back. The St. Louis utility owns the hydroelectric dam near Lesterville whose reservoir ruptured last week.

That rupture released more than a billion gallons of water on Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park and surrounding area. Three children were injured; one remains hospitalized.

Blunt says he's made it clear he expects AmerenUE to bear the costs of restoring the area, and the utility has committed to the cleanup. He says using state funds avoids potential delays in restoring the area.

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