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State park closed in Birds Point levee breach to reopen

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | 7:30 a.m. CDT; updated 12:54 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 31, 2011

EAST PRAIRIE — A state park and a historic site in southeast Missouri's Mississippi County are about to reopen, four months after the intentional breach of the Birds Point levee.

State officials said Big Oak Tree State Park and Towosahgy State Historic Site will reopen on Friday.

Both were covered with up to 16 feet of water after the Army Corps of Engineers used explosives to blast holes in the levee in May at the height of flooding on the Mississippi River. The move was made to keep the river from flowing the floodwall at nearby Cairo, Ill.

Part of Big Oak remains closed from the flooding, but the main picnic area and boardwalk will be open. All of the historic site will be open. The site preserves remains of an ancient Native American village.

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