Ozark Riverway flood recovery

Following the heavy rains that fell across the region in late December, many facilities, roads, trails, and river accesses at Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) were impacted by severe flooding.

The road into Panther Springs.
The road into Panther Springs.

Since that time, the park’s staff has been working tirelessly to assess damage and clean or repair facilities, structures, and roadways throughout the park, said Dena Matteson, public information officer with the ONSR.

Continuing recovery efforts are ongoing, with high priority visitor use areas and facilities receiving immediate attention. Over 33 restrooms were filled with water and mud. Many of those have been cleaned and opened, or re-winterized.

Several river access areas lost portions of the riverbank, and many roads and trails still need repairs and grading. Large deposits of gravel and debris remain throughout the park.

While many camping areas and access points have been re-opened, amenities in several areas remain limited because of damage or displacement caused by floodwater. Work has been impeded slightly by the recent winter weather.

“There are several sites within the park that sustained moderate damage. The restroom facility at the Two Rivers boat landing lost the roof and a portion of the walls,” said Matteson. “The road surface into Panther Springs was severely damaged, making the area inaccessible.”

Approximately 200 yards of the trail from Powder Mill to Blue Spring on the Current River is covered with river debris, she said. The Burr Oak picnic area near Alley Spring was heavily impacted by gravel and sand deposited across the landscape.  Recovery at these sites is expected to take additional time.

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