CHARITON COUNTY, Mo. — Flooding on the Grand River is causing the Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge to close down.
According to a news release, damages to the facilities and infrastructure are listed as substantial. Swan Lake will be closed to the public, with the exception of the Taylor Point Access.
Visitors can access the north end of Silver Lake for those wanting access for fishing or wildlife viewing. There is a primitive boat launch at Taylor Point to access Silver Lake for fishing.
Most of the public access roads are washed out at numerous places and gravel is washed away from many of the roads. The Refuge Visitor Center and Headquarters Office are flooded and are closed. Officials are in the process of setting up temporary headquarters in the old bunkhouse near the headquarters. That will serve as the headquarters until further decisions can be made on addressing the damages to the office and visitors center.
Refuge staff from Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Columbia and Loess Bluffs in Mound City are assisting with cleanup and repairs. The staff is in the process of getting assistance from other refuges to come help get the roads repaired once water recedes.
Once all the washouts are repaired gravel will be replaced on roads as soon as possible. Officials will reopen the roads opened back up for public use as soon as they feel the roads are safe to travel. The July First Friday event is also canceled and the park is planning on making accommodations for the August First Friday.
The closure is until further notice.