Two state parks in floodway to reopen Friday

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two state parks that have been closed since the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway was inundated in early May will reopen Friday.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources said in a news release Tuesday that Big Oak Tree State Park and Towosahgy State Historic Site in Mississippi County -- covered with 12 to 16 feet of water and sand following the May levee breach -- are set to reopen.

The levee that keeps the Mississippi River out of the floodway was intentionally breached to relieve record flooding on the river system this spring. The parks in the area were covered by the floodwaters after the breaches.

Two events will mark the reopening of the parks. Big Oak Tree State Park will host its Living History Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 10. The event will include demonstrations of skills like spinning, trapping and flintknapping, according to the news release.

Staff at Towosahgy State Historic Site will talk about the Mississippian American Indian culture on top of the site's temple mound from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 24.

Part of Big Oak Tree remains closed "while assessment continues on the impact from flooding," the news release said, but the main picnic area and the boardwalk through the swamp forest are open.

For more information on these events, call Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site at 573-748-5340.

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