Park Damaged By Reservoir Rupture to Re-Open for Memorial Day Weekend

MAY 17, 2006 - Posted at 2:28 p.m. CST

LESTERVILLE, MO - The popular state park that was badly damaged when a hydroelectric plant reservoir broke in December will reopen, with many restrictions, for the start of the tourism season.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources plans to open Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park May 27.  It will be open for day-use only through the fall.  Swimming and camping will be prohibited.

Visitors will be able to view the damage caused when Ameren Corporation's Taum Sauk hydroelectric plant gave way, sending about one billion gallons of water down the side of a mountain and gushing through the southeast Missouri park.

No one was killed, but the park was left covered in thick silt and clay.  Ameren is paying for cleanup.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)