Iowa: Lake Manawa State Park Campground Closed

The Lake Manawa State Park campground has been closed through
August due to safety concerns that the levee holding the Missouri
River back will not withstand the pressure over the expected eight
weeks of flooding. The park will remain open for day use until
there is direct evidence the levee will not hold.

“If the levee were to breech, there would be little time to
evacuate the campers so we decided to take the cautious approach
and close the campground,” said Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the
Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau.

Szcodronski said the DNR is in the process of notifying campers
holding the 125 reservations at Lake Manawa with arrivals between
Tuesday and Aug. 31 of its closure and refunding their money. Lake
Manawa has 36 electric and 35 non electric campsites.

Lake Manawa is the third state park that will be impacted by the
Missouri River. The DNR has closed Wilson Island, also in
Pottawattamie County, and Lewis and Clark State Park in Monona
County.

Nearby state parks Waubonsie, Viking Lake, Lake Anita, Prairie
Rose, Stone and Black Hawk will likely see increases in attendance
due to the park closures.

“The domino effect will be that other nearby parks will likely
absorb campers who would normally be going to one of the closed
parks that will in turn make it more difficult to find a campsite
for the rest of this summer and likely into 2012,” Szcodronski
said. “Campers should also consider one of our fine county parks in
the area.”

Szcodronski said the three popular parks draw about 66,000 campers
per year. Lake Manawa State Park hosts an estimated 1.5 million
park visits per year, the highest total in the Iowa state park
system.

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