KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Flooded areas in nearly a dozen rain-soaked Missouri parks are closed to visitors for the July Fourth weekend, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has urged campers with reservations to verify that campgrounds are still open.
The closures follow a month of steady rain in the state where high waters have already contributed to some deaths. Last weekend, a woman’s body was found in Moniteau County, downstream from where she had been camping. Authorities believe she may have been swept away by flash flood waters.
“Even if your designated area has not had significant rainfall recently, we encourage campers to check on their campsites before heading to the lake,” the Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement. “Campsites may not be underwater but could still be closed due to flooding, debris, or maintenance problems.”
The Missouri State Highway Patrol also urged caution.
“Obviously the high waters are causing problems on our streams and rivers due to the very swift current,” patrol Lt. Paul J. Reinsch said. “If people can do things like wear lifejackets and avoid high water areas, hopefully that will help us save some lives.”
At the Lake of the Ozarks State Park - the state’s largest - rising lake levels have shuttered two marinas, some camping areas, a boat ramp, two fishing docks, a cave called Ozark Caverns and a trail, according to Missouri State Parks.
Flooding also shut down beaches at Harry S. Truman, Mark Twain, Pomme de Terre and Watkins Woolen Mill State Parks.
At Cuivre River State Park in northeastern Missouri, a road between the visitor center and the campground entrance was closed after a section of it collapsed because of flash flooding last month. The campground is still accessible through a back entrance.
Closures to day-use areas and trails also were reported at Washington, Robertsville, Ha Ha Tonka, Knob Noster and Crowder State Parks, according to Missouri State Parks.
Missouri State Parks: https://mostateparks.com/advisories
Department of Natural Resources: https://dnr.mo.gov/asp/beaches/index.html
National Recreation Reservation Service: https://www.recreation.gov
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