MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa - Wilson Island State Park was closed Thursday due to flooding from the rising Missouri River.
Wilson Island, like many state parks, had all of its campsites available for reservation filled for the Memorial Day weekend. Individuals with reservations for park shelters, campsites and the cabin will be notified of the closure and receive a full refund.
"The challenge with Wilson Island is, that once water enters the campground, it takes a while for the water to drain off so the park stays wet and muddy for some time," said Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau. "Because floodwaters leave a lot of mud, campsites need to be re-seeded, which takes time, and is necessary to make the sites usable by campers."
If conditions improve and the campground can be reopened, campsites will only be available on a first come basis for the rest of the year. The cabin will also be operated on a first come basis until Oct. 1. It will remain on the reservation system for those who want to make a reservation after Oct. 1.
With river levels expected to remain high, a date for reopening cannot be projected.
The DNR will have current park weather related closure information on its website at www.iowadnr.gov/parks/construction/weather.html.