Some areas of Mark Twain National Forest are experiencing flash flooding. Specifically, the Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs Ranger District is currently dealing with sites that are getting inundated with water—some are entry roads into recreation sites, and Bar K dispersed recreation area has been closed until waters go back down, Mark Twain National Forest’s Public Affairs Officer Cody Norris said.
The Eleven Point Ranger District also had several sites that were inundated this past week, and were temporarily shut down, including Watercress and a couple float camps. It is very important for visitors to check local weather forecasts to avoid flash flooding. Please check out MoDOT road conditions as well; and be prepared to turn around if a road on your route gets closed temporarily for flooding.
Multiple precipitation events have saturated the ground, so any rain is now potentially causing flooding in that area, or in an area downstream. Norris said in a release today the Forest Service personnel will need to wait for flood waters to recede, conduct safety evaluations and possibly make some repairs before reopening any sites that are closed from flooding.
Anyone traveling through Mark Twain National Forest needs to keep in mind the dangers of high water. Norris said, do not attempt to drive across moving water at low-water crossings. It only takes a few inches of moving water to sweep away a vehicle. Hiking trails may have creeks running at high volumes that are normally dry. People should not attempt to make these crossing without proper training or equipment. Also, be aware that rain upstream can cause flooding along riverways where no rain is occurring, so it is not recommended to disperse camp near a riverbank at this time.
If anyone has questions about recreation on the Forest or have damage to report, please contact your local Ranger District. A list of contact numbers and office hours are available on www.fs.usda.gov/mtnf.
Some staff will be at the District Office in Ava, coordinating response to any flooding events on the District— to reach them, please call (417) 683-4428.