- Associated Press - Saturday, May 27, 2017

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A month after severe floods ravaged several parks and campsites across Missouri, the vast majority of them are open again in time for summer visitors.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/2rCOn86 ) reports that cleanup and repair is mostly complete at several parks and tourist sites along rivers in Missouri. Many were damaged in late April and early May when torrential rains caused creeks and rivers to rise suddenly.

The result was damage to campgrounds, roads, facilities and infrastructure in many places that rely on summer tourism. More than a dozen state parks were affected.

Some of the worst damage was near St. Louis. But only Confluence Point, a park at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, remains flooded.

At Meramec State Park, where the Meramec River reached a record height on May 1, water took out valuable infrastructure, park superintendent Dan Wedemeyer said. Crews replaced 155 electrical boxes, three water heaters, four transformers, 19 campsite posts and several lanterns. Branches, mud and sand had to be removed from roads and facilities.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways has been steadily making progress, but many areas along the Jacks Fork below Alley Spring and along parts of the Current River will likely be closed over the weekend.

Larry Johnson, Ozark National Scenic Riverways superintendent, said at least 132 facilities were damaged or destroyed. Aid from other national parks helped with recovery.

Johnson said the river corridor is open and safe to use, but visitors should check which facilities and campgrounds will be available before heading out.

“We feel bad that we can’t get these areas to the standards that the public would expect, and that we would expect,” Johnson said. “I think there will still be a lot of opportunity to enjoy the area this weekend.”

Owners of some of the region’s tourism businesses say they have felt the effects of a perception that flooding has wiped out the feasibility of a Missouri vacation.

Robert Bass, owner of Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort in Leasburg and Bass’ River Resort in Steelville, still had openings for cabins normally booked this time of year.

Alex Maggard, general manager and part-owner of Akers Ferry Canoe Rental in Akers, also wasn’t seeing the usual number of customers for the end of May.

His message?

“Just come on down, we’ll take care of you,” he said. “The water’s perfect.”


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide