New Year Flood continues to impact the Current River - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New Year Flood continues to impact the Current River

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
CARTER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

The New Year Flood is still impacting areas like the Current River where floodwaters left debris and changed parts of the course of the river.

“It caused a lot of erosion, a lot of changes in the river,” Lendal Gregory, with the National Parks Service, said.

The New Year flood hit the Current River area hard.

“This one just piled a lot more sand and gravel and did more destruction than probably our last five floods put together,” Gregory said.

The park service has worked to put the pieces back together on land, but when it comes to the river, a lot of it’s up to Mother Nature. Parts of the river south of Highway 60 were lined with debris and some of the banks were eroded.

“There’s parts of docks and picnic tables and all kinds of stuff," Gregory said. "All this has all changed during this last flood. You can see this bank is eroding there."

Gregory said a lot of the debris will wash away and the changes are all a part of nature.

“Once the river drops a little more, it’ll make some nice gravel bars out here and it’s going to be a little different, going to be a little more sand in the gravel bars than normal,” Gregory said.

In the summer of 2015, the Current River was closed 21 days because of flooding. Some business owners in Van Buren said they’re hoping to kick off a smooth season with no more floods.

“It was a brutal year for floating, but we are looking forward to a better year this year,” Tom Bedell, owner of The Landing, said.

Bedell said the part of the river that’s most often floated, north of Highway 60, is ready for the floating season to kick-off.

“As far as the area that we float in, it hasn’t changed much at all,” Bedell said. “It’s in pretty good shape.”

Even though the river is safe to swim, float and fish in, law enforcement wants to remind people to watch out for debris, look out for changes and always be careful.

“We want you to come enjoy the river, have a great time with your family and friends," Carter County Sheriff Rick Stephens said. "But we also want you to go home to your family and friends.” 

As for now, the park service said the river is open and ready for visitors.

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