The severe winter storm that hit Lake of the Ozarks last week caused extensive damage to numerous marinas along the lake, collapsing roofs on top of hundreds of boats that sat in the water.
“We experienced an unusually heavy spill load here,” said Jeff Green, shoreline manager for AmerenUE, the power company that manages the lake and serves as a permitting agency for marinas. “I suspect that most of the commercial marinas at the Lake of the Ozarks experienced some damage.
“It wasn’t so much from the snow as from the heavy ice,” he added.
The heavy ice, which came before the storm dropped 14 inches of snow, was more than the docks could handle.
Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks spans some 90 miles, with about 25,000 commercial and residential docks, according to Green. He said there are about 50 marinas throughout the lake. Most of the damage came from the lower third of the lake — the area most heavily developed.
Although many of the dock roofs collapsed under the ice, Green said there were still many boats floating on the water. He expects most can be saved.
“We only documented a couple of boats that are sinking,” he said.
Green said his shoreline management division will continue to gather information about marina and dock damage.
“We have 50 certified dock builders on the lake, and they’ll be quite busy,” he said.