A big chunk of Johnson Shut-ins State Park reopens tomorrow, more than three years after the Taum Sauk Reservoir flood devastated the park. Acting state parks director Dan Page says much of the visitors’ area is ready to go. Page calls it a "partial opening." The campgrounds and the visitors’ center will reopen later.
The main valley reopens with a new board walk to the Shut-ins, a new picnic area along the east fork of the Black River, and greater use of the valley.
No special ceremonies are planned—-but a big crowd is expected.
The park was devastated when the Taum Sauk Reservoir collapsed in December, 2005, releasing more than one-billion gallons of water that scoured the park, destroying buildings and clogging waterways with debris.
AmerenUE, owners of the reservoir, eventually agreed to a $180-million settlement. More than $50-million of those dollars went to carry out the park’s master redevelopment plan.
The ark will be open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.