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Ameren says earlier spill not related to reservoir break

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The Taum Sauk reservoir broke Dec. 14 (UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Ameren UE says an incident at the Taum Sauk reservoir in September was actually a spill caused in part by Hurricane Rita.

The utility sent its report to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday explaining why it did not report the incident. The event came to light after the reservoir broke December 14th.

Ameren spokeswoman Susan Gallagher says the two events had nothing to do with one another: "In fact, on September 25th, contrary to reports and speculation, there was wave action due to Hurricane Rita, and there was slightly elevated reservoir levels in the upper reservoir, but the two events were distinctly different."

The Post-Dispatch on Sunday reported that a superintendent at Taum Sauk sent an e-mail to several Ameren supervisors after the September incident, warning about a possible collapse.

Gallagher says Ameren lowered the water level after the September event and checked the reservoir's equipment.

FERC requested Ameren file a report explaining what happened in September and why the utility did not report the incident. Gallagher says Ameren officials did not believe at the time that it was a "reportable" event.

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