Park Planning for High Water on the Buffalo River

Tom KrohnNPS News Releases

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Caven Clark, Public Information Officer. 870/365-2790

Park Planning for High Water on the Buffalo River

In anticipation of a significant flood event, Buffalo National River is taking precautionary steps towards insuring visitor safety and minimizing damage to park infrastructure. Saturated ground conditions combined with ongoing rains indicate that flooding will impact most of the park’s campgrounds and all of the launch sites. By Friday (4/28) many areas, including Tyler Bend Campground, will be closed until the flood abates. The process of shutting off utilities in campsites has already begun in selected areas.

The Steel Creek concert featuring National Park Radio, rescheduled after last weekend’s inclement weather for this Saturday (4/29), has been postponed until further notice.

Visitors are asked to exercise extreme caution in all areas near the river. Water crossings such as those at Rush, Webb Branch, Erbie, and others will likely become unusable, possibly trapping visitors on the “wrong” side. Even the Lost Valley Trail should be avoided, given the past history of flash floods in that area.

The beautiful weather on Tuesday (4/25) and a possible break between the storms on Thursday (4/27) should not lull visitors into hazardous situations. Float trips are not recommended as the Buffalo River is already running at high stages and will very likely be in flood stage soon.

Basic safety rules apply: if the water is high, brown, and carrying debris it is not safe for any recreational activity. Responding to a likely flood event is never taken lightly and even with what seems like a lot of recent experience, each flood even brings with it a different array of issues. Please be safe, think twice before attempting water crossings, and report any accidents to the park’s dispatch at 888/692-1162. For general questions regarding closures of campgrounds, please call the Tyler Bend Visitor Center at 870/439-2502 or Buffalo Point at 870/449-4311.

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2004 Buffalo Point Flood

​Buffalo Point Campground in 2004 flood (NPS file photo).