Editor’s note: This story has been updated with reopening of part of the Jacks Fork River.
Three weeks after the devastating April 29-30 flood, sections of the Current and Jacks Fork rivers have been cleared of enough trees and root wads to allow floaters back on the waterway.
According to Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the upper Current River is open to floating from Cedar Grove to Round Spring. However, the only launching areas open on that stretch as of Friday afternoon are Cedar Grove, Akers, Pulltite, and the upper and lower landings at Round Spring. The Jacks Fork is open for floating from Buck Hollow to the Alley Spring boat launch.
The rest of the Current and Jacks Fork rivers remain closed to paddlers while park crews continue cutting out trees and tree roots and removing debris from the rivers. With Memorial Day weekend coming up, park crews are trying to get more sections of the rivers opened so tourists will return to the area.
“We are bringing facilities online the best we can, as soon as we can safely,” said Superintendent Larry Johnson, in a post on the park’s web page. “It is a big job, but we are dedicated to re-opening as many facilities as possible when we can safely do so for visitors and our communities to enjoy the park this summer, it is just going to take time. We appreciate folks staying out of the temporarily closed areas so we can concentrate on repairs and re-opening.”
Although much of both rivers are closed to paddlers, park officials reopened both to motorized craft. However, launching and take-out points remain limited.
About 150 people have been working to repair damage, scoop out mud from buildings and restrooms, clear piles of debris from river access areas and repair park trails. The April 29-30 flood, fueled by up to 12 inches of rain in some locations, pushed both rivers 10…