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Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park Re-Opens


Less than 6 months after a dam at the Taum Sauk reservoir broke and water flooded the area, Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park is open. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports on what you'll see if you visit the park, which is located in Southeast Missouri, near the town of Lesterville.

The dam broke late last year, on December 14th.

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park was in the path of the water that came tearing through the valley that day.

Sue Holst is Public Information Officer for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

She says the park is now open for business.

As the department of natural resources has cleaned the park, it has left some effects of the flood in place.

Holst says park visitors can tour a field that the flood transformed.

The department is seeking public input on how it should go about rebuilding the park.

Holst says the idea is to create a plan that will guide the department on whether or not to keep features like the boulder field in place.

Even though a broad plan is being developed, the park already has some basic features in place.

Holst says the park is prepared to handle visitors.

One popular attraction is off limits for the time being.

Holst says visitors will not be allowed to swim in the shut-ins this summer...She says they're a beautiful part of the park that weren't damaged but state officials have not yet determined if it's safe to swim in the area.

Holst says the flood has not kept visitors away so far...The park opened Memorial Day weekend and Holst estimates the numbers of visitors was only slightly lower than last year.