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Documents: Walls of Taum Sauk reservoir were sinking

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(UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)
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A billion gallons of water poured through this opening in the reservoir.

By AP/KWMU

Lesterville, Mo. – A regulatory agency says walls of a southeast Missouri reservoir that ruptured in December were slowly sinking for decades.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is investigating whether the settling contributed to the reservoir's collapse.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show some parts of the Taum Sauk reservoir sunk as much as two feet since the structure was built in the early 1960s.

The reservoir collapsed before dawn on December 14th, causing about a billion gallons of water to rush through Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park outside of Lesterville. The flood destroyed the home of the park superintendent, injuring the family with three children.

Energy company Ameren UE owns the reservoir but said it could not comment while federal investigators are looking into the matter.

Investigators say it is too early to determine what caused the collapse.

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