Cars swept away by flood remain underwater in Lake Taneycomo

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Springfield Car, after car, after car are underwater at Lake Taneycomo sitting in the lake after last month’s floods.

You can see them from the Falls Creek Marina, where many people go kayaking or fishing.

"For me, my element down here is the fishing dock. We just have a great, great time," said Ed Johnsonbaugh, who is a fisherman.

For Ed Johnsonbaugh, the Fall Creek Marina is the place for the best catch. But in his years fishing at Lake Taneycomo, he has never seen anything like this.

"There's one. It used to be a blue pickup truck of some kind or another. But you'd never recognize it. It's just a rolled-up, crumpled-up, metal. Glass and parts are all over the place," Johnsonbaugh said.

KSPR News wanted to see how many cars are in Lake Taneycomo. Saturday KSPR News crews counted ten cars in the lake.

A Missouri Department of Natural Resources or DNR spokesman said nine of the cars belong to nearby Fall Creek Motors.

KSPR News did try to reach Fall Creek Motors Saturday. But, they were closed so KSPR News crews were unable to talk to them.

The car dealer is paying a contractor to get the cars out of the lake. It was supposed to happen Friday and Saturday; but, did not.

DNR said the hold up was "the contractor was not able to assemble the proper equipment in time to perform the work".

Until it happens, the fishermen are worried about boaters

"The biggest thing is the hazard to boats. There are several of them out there and a few of them are just under the surface," Johnsonbaugh said.

They just want their lake back.

"I hope they get the wreckers out of here pretty soon. It'll take a load off everybody's mind," said Ernie Frazier, who is also a fisherman.

"As far as I'm concerned, the sooner they get them out the better," Johnsonbaugh stated.

In the meantime, Johnsonbaugh plans to fish around the cars.

The cars are now supposed to be taken out on Tuesday or Wednesday. When it does, the Army Corps of Engineers will turn off the power generators at Table Rock Dam to help lower the lake.

DNR said there is oil and fuel in the cars. Saturday they told us there has even been some oil sheen on the water. But they do not consider it a threat. They also do not feel it is practical or safe to recover the fuel and oil.

The contractor is supposed to have some booms ready to put in the water when he takes out the cars. Those should absorb the oil and fuel without taking in any water.
It has been weeks since floods hit the Ozarks.

Many cars were swept away in the floodwaters and ended up under water in Lake Taneycomo.

Many remain there in front of Fall Creek Marina.

It is where many people go kayaking or fishing.

Fishermen said they have been waiting for a month for the cars to get removed from the lake. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources told KSPR News the cars would be removed Friday.

That did not happen.

Then, DNR reported the cars would be removed Saturday.

It did not happen

"Guys come down here wait around for two or three hours and they expect to see it removed and they don't."

Fisherman Ernie Frazier said he is a bit frustrated. "We thought within a month they would be gone. Not yet."

It is not just one or two cars..

Taking a ride on a boat, KSPR News Reporter Stephanie Garland spotted about ten cars under water in the area.

DNR reports nine of them were washed away from car dealer Fall Creek Motors. DNR has been working with the dealership for weeks to get the cars out of the lake.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of the lake, had even planned to shut off the power generators at Table Rock Dam for a few hours this week so the lake would be low enough to get the cars.

According to a DNR spokesperson, the contractor was not able to assemble the proper equipment in time to perform the work.

The new plan is to try again Tuesday or Wednesday.

DNR said there could be more than the 10 cars in the lake. They are still looking and trying to figure out who owns those.

A spokesman said DNR is aware there could be oil and fuel in the cars leaking into the lake.