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Mark Twain Outdoor News

Rainfall received between April 28 and May 4 ranged from seven to more than 11 inches across the Potosi-Fredericktown Ranger District. Mark Twain National Forest employees are in the process of assessing flood damage to roads and facilities, and beginning the arduous task of cleanup.

Red Bluff Recreation Area (Crawford County) was hardest hit on the Potosi-Fredericktown Ranger District. The Upper Campground Loop road was washed out in several places and more asphalt was scoured off its surface. A section of the Lower Campground Loop road was undermined by Huzzah Creek. The restroom buildings were filled with mud and debris, but it appears that no vaults were cracked. Water leaks have been repaired and water samples have been sent to the health department for testing.

The Red Bluff Recreation Area Open House scheduled for April 29th was cancelled due to the flooding and lightning. The Open House is now rescheduled for Saturday, May 13th, from 12 pm – 3 pm. We intend to make repairs to the roads so they can be reopened for the self-guided auto tour. Forest Service representatives will be set-up at the Pavilion to converse with visitors about the proposed relocation of campsites out of the floodplain. The date for reopening Red Bluff for day-use and camping is not known at this time, but every effort will be made to reopen before Memorial Day.

Water levels at Silver Mines Recreation Area (Madison County) reached the host site in the Riverside Campground Loop, which has not happened for some time. The majority of damage was from deposition of woody debris, sand and muck. The restroom at the take-out, across from the Riverside Campground Loop, sustained structural damage and will not be available for use for a period of time. The Prospect and Summit loops will be reopened by May 6th, but no water will be available until the Riverside Campground Loop is reopened. The Turkey Creek day-use and picnic area will remain closed until cleanup is completed.

Marble Creek Campground (Madison County) is closed until cleanup occurs. The creek rose up into some sites and deposited debris. Once reopened, a few campsites may remain closed at Marble Creek Campground until gravel spurs can be refurbished.

Council Bluff Lake levels rose enough for water to flow over the emergency spillway. The beach was washed with waves while the water was up and that caused some loss of the sandy areas. Water levels are still up too far to assess the full impact of the flood to the beach. The Wild Boar Campground is open, as are Council Bluff Boat Launch and Enough Boat Launch.

Mark Twain National Forest employees continue to assess damage to roads and trails. Care must be taken by visitors when driving on Forest Roads or hiking, mountain biking, or horse riding on trails because there may be hazards that have not been identified as of yet. It is possible that trees are down or areas could have been washed away during the high water.

Alerts and closures for Mark Twain National Forest roads and facilities is updated regularly on the website at Visitors are encouraged to report damaged on roads and trails to the Potosi Ranger Station by calling 573-438-5427.

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St. Francis River flood waters left large woody debris hanging from the Highway D Bridge at Silver Mines Recreation Area.

St. Francis River flood waters left large woody debris hanging from the Highway D Bridge at Silver Mines Recreation Area.

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