Month Long Closure Ends at Blue Mounds - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Month Long Closure Ends at Blue Mounds

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For the last month, one of southwest Minnesota's most popular tourist destinations has been closed off and shut down because of flood damage.

Blue Mounds State Park in Luverne opened up again on Monday and we were there for a first hand look at the damage.

The centerpiece of Blue Mounds State Park is Mound Lake, which now exists in name only.

The torrential rains from middle June and the flash flooding that followed cracked the dam on the lake; emptying the lake.

"Water overtopped the spillways, started to flow around them and was funneled to the base of the dam." Alex Watson is with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

He was here to see the park re-open after the month long closure; the time was necessary to see the extent of the damage and to figure out what was spared. "Only a small portion of trails needed to be closed. There are some areas where loops can not be completed. But the hiking is still here to enjoy."

Pretty much all park activities have now resumed with this re-opening.

But anything having to do with the lake is off the table and other spotty areas are still considered off limits.

"We've fenced off the areas and have closed off the areas that were dangerous. So yeah if you go around the fences in the park there a lot of unsafe areas behind those fences." Blue Mounds Park Manager Chris Ingebretsen tells us, he's not sure how long the fences will stay up.

Just as Alex Watson isn't sure when the lake will be repaired and filled.

But he hopes the repairs that do have to be made happen soon so this park can be fully enjoyed. "There's just nowhere in Minnesota where you can walk among pink boulders and big 120 year old oak trees."

For the last month, reservations at Blue Mounds have been suspended.

The park started taking reservations once again on Monday.


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