May 12, 2017
Contact: Pamela Barnes
After more than a week of hard work cleaning and repairing areas in the park, Ozark National Scenic Riverways will open some land-based areas for day use beginning Saturday, May 13. Park staff and the Midwest Region Incident Management Team have been working to assess conditions and identify areas that are safe to open as we continue to address the large tasks ahead.
Teams are working daily to clean up debris, repair extensive damage to facilities, and prioritize areas that can be opened. This effort requires coordination of over 150 people, including National Park Service staff that have traveled from all over the country to supplement park employees engaged in the cleanup effort. Superintendent Larry Johnson remarked, “We are bringing facilities online the best we can, as soon as we can safely. It is a big job, but we are dedicated to re-opening as many facilities as possible when we can safely do so for visitors and our communities to enjoy the park this summer, it is just going to take time. We appreciate folks staying out of the temporarily closed areas so we can concentrate on repairs and re-opening."
Though crews have accomplished a massive amount of work since the April 29-30 flood, visitors need to come prepared for limited services. Full amenities are not available yet in the re-opened areas. Visitors should be prepared for rough road conditions to Devils Well, Klepzig Mill, and Rocky Falls. Plan to pack out whatever you bring to the areas as trash collection and restroom cleaning will be limited, and areas will not be mowed. Patience is appreciated while recovery efforts continue.
The Jacks Fork and Current Rivers remain temporarily closed while crews work on obstruction removal in the rivers and access points, many of which are blocked by downed trees and washed out roads.
The following areas will be re-opened as of Saturday May 13:
• Alley Mill
Areas Open: Alley Mill parking area, grounds around Alley Mill and Storys Creek School, Alley General Store 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Areas Closed: Alley Mill – due to flood damage, restrooms - due to issues with the sewage system. Visitors should be aware that the nearest public restrooms are in the town of Eminence, 5 miles to the east. Burr Oak pavilion and picnic area are closed due to damage and debris. All hiking trails are closed due to hazardous conditions.
• Devils Well: Open for day use and picnicking. Cave Spring trail will be open for hiking, and the vault toilet will be open.
• Rocky Falls – open for day use and picnicking. The vault toilet will be open.
• Klepzig Mill – open for day use and picnicking.
• Akers Ranger Station public restrooms will be open.
Phone and internet service is still inoperable parkwide. For public information and status updates information desks will be staffed at Round Spring Contact Station, Alley Spring General Store, and Park Headquarters in Van Buren, daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
As conditions change information will be posted on the park website at www.nps.gov/ozar, on the park Facebook page, and at the visitor contact stations.
The Midwest Region encompasses 61 park areas in 13 states (Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, and North and South Dakota), and has been headquartered in Omaha since the mid-NP1930s.