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The visitor center has numerous displays, many of which focus on the impact of the 2005 breach. The location of that center shows some confidence in the new reservoir that Ameren re opened last month.
Ayres says there very little about the park that is recognizable from the park as it was in 2005, aside from the shut ins themselves. They didn sustain much damage. The huge Nike Jogger For Men
general sites; 25 electric and 25 non electric. The park has increased its capacity to 79 sites that are much more diversified.
The park superintendent home that was swept away by the rushing waters sat where this day use shelter is today, with the new visitor center behind
Ayres says before the breach formed this scour, the treeline was equal height across the mountain
Shut Ins State Park incorporates changes caused
A quarter mile out of the path of the scour, the yellow line on this tree marks the level the water reached the morning of the breach in 2005
Johnson Shut Ins State Park is finally completely re opened, more than four years after it was devastated by more than a billion gallons of water from the breach of the upper Reservoir at Ameren UE's Taum Sauk Hydroelectric plant. Jeff Ayres, the park's superintendent, gave the Missourinet a tour of the virtually brand new park.
"It's uncovered rock formation and geology that you would have never got to see before at all. We've been having just tons of interest from local colleges and colleges all over to come and actually get to go up in that scour and look at some of those neat features," Ayres said.
Ameren UE has posted "evacuation route" signs throughout the park, Nike Sweater With Zipper On Side which would direct people to higher ground in the case of an emergency. But an Ameren UE spokesman says Nike Shorts 2017
"We went from no visitor center to a 10,000 square foot visitor center,"
"They decided to leave the boulder field area, to show people exactly how much rock was brought down," Ayres said, as he looked out over the field full of the large stones.
"That's not how I feel, I've been listening and watching the rebuilding of the dam and everything and I know a little bit about the old dam the construction of the old dam and the new dam is definitely strong. It's not coming down again," Svenson said.
Ayres says like it or not, the disaster is part of the history of the park now. But it's also made history itself a part of the park. The scour tore away 30 to 40 feet of rock in the mountainside, revealing layers of sediment. There's now a hiking trail that takes people into the scour.
What used to be the campground
scour in the side of the mountain left behind by the rushing waters is still distinct, and it left scores of huge boulders in what used to be the campground.
they've done everything possible to make sure it never happens again. For more information on the new Taum Sauk upper reservoir, see our coverage of the re opening ceremony.
"There were surveys early on, they asked the public would you feel comfortable camping back in this area if the upper reserve reservoir was built again and the answer was no. So that's why they moved the campground across N Highway to a safer area," Ayres said.
There's also another new attraction.
"We have 10 sites for equestrian users; we have 20 sites that have the full hookup; sewer electric and water. We have 21 sites that just have electric, 14 basic and then we have 14 walk in sites where you basically park and you hike in to a wooden platform and camp in the woods. Also we have 4 camper cabins which is completely new," Ayres said.
Johnson Shut Ins State Park has been gradually re opening over the last year, and now it officially at full operation after opening its camping facilities at the end of April. The old park had 50 Nike Black Trousers
Svenson says they likely continue driving from St. Louis to visit the park at least once a year, as they did before the breach.
Ayres thinks that over time the park will get back to the same high levels of patronage it had before the breach, and thinks the new features may actually bring in new visitors. But as the previously mentioned survey revealed, some have voiced concerns over safety. We met Elaine Wright and Peter Svenson as they were visiting the park, and asked whether they had they had safety concerns.
"We know that where this building is right in the line (of the water's path), and we all feel comfortable with the new construction. Obviously, because we built our orientation center which is right in front of the scour where they water came before," Ayres said.
Johnson Shut Ins was mostly a rudimentary park in 2005; there wasn't much beyond the shut ins and a campground. It isn often that a state park gets to start from scratch. In fact, Ayres says he never heard of it happening before. But that what they did, after cleaning up the destruction left behind by a billion gallons of water from the Taum Sauk reservoir breach.
After the clean up, the park what was left of the $103 million it was granted through Ameren UE settlement to put in brand new day use facilities and amenities at the campground. But the campground is across the highway now, out of the path left behind by the breach.
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