The breaching of the Bird’s Point-New Madrid levee in southeast Missouri has left one of our state parks badly damaged.
There aren’t as many big oaks in Big Oak Tree State Park now. The visitors center and park office are so badly damaged they can’t be used. The shop and other support facilities also are significantly damaged. State parks director Bill Bryan, who visited the park a few days ago, says the majority of exhibits probably cannot be salvaged. He found about a half-inch of sediment in the buildings, windows knocked out, roofs taken off of restrooms and other damage.
The park is closed now but Bryan would not be surprised if the park can be opened for day use before the season is over. There won’t a visitors center or any amenities. But he says the boardwalk over the swampy area remains in good shape.
Although parts of the floodway still have a lot of water, Bryan says he saw some farmers back in their fields when he was there.