One Mo. state park still closed, another partially open, nearly 1 year after flood

Jun 20, 2012

Progress has been made on one of two flood-damaged state parks in northwest Missouri.

Big Lake and Lewis & Clark State Parks were underwater for several weeks during last summer’s severe flooding along the Missouri River.  Lewis and Clark, about 20 miles southwest of St. Joseph, has reopened for day use only.  Missouri State Parks Superintendent Bill Bryan says the campground is still closed.

“About 70 percent of our campsites are electrified, for people to plug in with a camper," Bryan said.  "Water and electricity don’t mix, and so we have a lot of work to do to replace (the) damaged electrical system serving the campground before we can get it opened.”

The beach at Lewis and Clark is also closed.  Bryan says the park should be fully open by Memorial Day next year.  Big Lake State Park, near the Nebraska border, remains completely closed, as major repairs haven’t begun yet.

“The flooding just destroyed the basic infrastructure serving the park, in addition to the structures that were there," Bryan said.  "We’re having to develop (the) water system, sewer system, electric system.”

Bryan says hundreds of dead and dying trees will have to be removed from both parks.  He expressed hope that some day-use areas of Big Lake could be reopened by this fall, but there's no solid date yet.