Redneck Entertainment Idea #519: Watching water trickle over the Lake Wappapello emergency spillway
Feature written by on Sunday, May 19, 2002
WAPPAPELLO, MO -- Sick of watching lame TV specials about shows from 30 years ago? Tired of wasting your evening outside watching your bug zapper zap bugs? Bored of going to the local tavern and getting into a brawl? We here at The Cape Rock have the perfect idea for something completely different: watching water flow.
Trust us, this is much more exciting than watching grass grow. Only twice since Lake Wappapello was built in 1941 has the emergency spillway had water flowing over it -- once in 1945, and once this morning!
View from the sound end of the spillway Saturday afternoon when the water completely covered the parking lot and was slowly rising towards the top of the emergency spillway.
A small amount of water trickled through cracks in the spillway and sandbags Sunday morning just after the crest, but more had found its way over the wall earlier during the night
Even without the catastrophic flood that everyone was hoping for (except Corps engineers), the weekend had a certain carnival atmosphere. Where else would ordinary people be excited enough to stand for hours in record low temperatures watching a tiny amount of water trickle over a concrete wall? Where else would people pray for an unexpected rain shower, a strong gust of wind, or a small earthquake -- anything to cause the sandbags to topple over? Where else would people bring lawn chairs and calculators so they could sit and watch a body of water move at near glacial slowness while crunching numbers to figure out how many inches above the spillway the forecasted crest would be?
And then -- as if watching rivulets of water run down a concrete wall by moonlight isn't enough excitement already -- the spectators were treated Saturday evening to a car wreck on Highway T. What more could you ask for in weekend Redneck entertainment?