BRANSON, Mo. – The level of Table Rock Lake is dropping each day but several popular recreation areas along the shoreline are still under water.
Among the places still being impacted by flash flooding two weeks ago is the Mill Creek Campground near Kimberling City.
“I know for a fact Mill Creek canceled everyone’s reservations,” says Mike Eddy, a boat mechanic for Branson West Powersports, “and I believe there’s quite a few other parks that followed suit.”
In additional to Mill Creek, Old Highway 86 Campground is closed, all of the U.S. Army Corps swim beaches are closed and there are several partial closures along the lake.
The water is also causing headaches for boaters who are trying to access private boat docks and marinas.
“Monday, I had to swim from a boat dock back to land after I had delivered a boat,” says Eddy.
“There’s still a lot of people who don’t have electricity on their docks or can’t get to their boats to use them,” he says. “[At] Indian Point they’re using a shuttle boat to take folks out to their boats because they can’t get their docks close enough to land right now.”
“There’s a pretty good chance things are going to be impacted for the Memorial Day weekend,” says USACE Park Ranger, Leah Deeds, “and I wouldn’t expect all of our beaches or all of our campgrounds to be back open by that point.”
Deeds says with the water level headed in the right direction – Table Rock Lake has dropped seven feet since the last flooding episode – new camping sites are reopening each day.
“Probably the best plan [for Memorial Day weekend] would be to call out to the park booth, if you’ve got that number, just check and see what’s open,” she says.
Deeds says when visitors do find a spot, their attention should then turn to safety.
“There are thing like trees and facilities that are going to be slightly under the water, as well as floating debris,” she says.
“Keep your eyes open, move a little slower, and make sure everyone on board has on a life jacket.”
The topic of water safety is timely given the on-going search on Table Rock Lake for a missing canoeist.
The Missouri Highway Patrol Marine Division doesn’t believe that person was wearing a life jacket.