Roaring River recoups from flood

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Campers at Roaring River State Park were asked to evacuate the campgrounds as result of flooding on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 8, but some campers did not have time to pull their tents or campers before floodwaters converged on the campgrounds.

High flood waters on the morning of Aug. 8 caused Roaring River State Park to evacuate campgrounds within the park. Despite damage to personal property and the park itself no injuries were reported, according to Gena Terlizzi communications director for Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Shelley Reed, of Vinita, Okla., had been camping with her husband and three children for almost a week in the state park the morning of the flooding.

"The camp host came about 2:30 a.m. and warned us that we might have to evacuate," Reed said. "Looking back hindsight, we wish we would have packed up then."

Dusty Reid, park superintendent, poured water from his boot after working several hours to help campers evacuate and clear obstructions from access roads after the flooding in Roaring River State Park the morning of Aug. 8. Crews prepared for more rain the first part of the week.

Several campers managed to evacuate with all their belongings, tents and or campers. However, some were less fortunate. After the waters began to subside on Aug. 8, tents could be seen wrapped around trees, some pop-up campers remained amongst flood debris, and one vehicle was still partially under water.

"Clean-up efforts are underway." Terlizzi said. "At this time the majority of the damage appears to be in and around campgrounds two and three. "

Terlizzi explained total estimates of the financial damages from the flood are still being assessed. Additionally, Brian Canady, fisheries field operations chief with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said that while no fish were lost from the hatchery, the stream population will require some work.

"We are currently waiting for the flood waters to dissipate so that we can continue our post flood assessments of the streams and hatchery." Canady said. "We take a pretty thorough assessment that includes the effects of flooding on growth rates, hatchery conditions and public safety."

Data collected by the United State Geological Survey reported at 8:40 a.m. on Aug. 8 the gauge height for Roaring River was 7.70 ft. with a stream rate of 5,900 cubic feet per second. When compared to the last measurements of 0.97 ft. and a stream rate of 91.4 cubic feet per second taken on June 5, the scale of the flooding can be seen.

While parts of campground one opened Aug. 9 the remainder of campground one as well as campgrounds two and three are expected to be closed till Aug. 16, according to Terlizzi.

Those interested in volunteering to aid in the cleanup process for Roaring River State Park may contact the park office at 847-2539.

Updates concerning closings at Roaring River State Park can be found on the advisories tab of their website at mostateparks.com/park/roaring-river-state-park.

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