Originally Posted by Explorer1016
about 10 or 12 years ago the upper reservoir broke and the evidence of the breach is still there. You will see it when you enter the JSI SP. There is a swath of the forest still visible from the top of the mountain straight into the SP. The Resident Rangers house was blown away by the force of the millions of gallons of water rushing down the mountain. he and family were NOT at home that friday night so my understanding is no casualties but an incredible event. The JSI Visitor Center was destroyed and since rebuilt and relocated out of the path of the reservoir and up on a hill side.
During the night in Dec of 2005, the upper reservoir was overfilled and the fail-safes that were in place failed. The water flowing over the top of the reservoir caused one side of the dam to collapse sending a billion gallons of water down into the valley where Johnsonís Shut-ins park was located.
The house that the park superintendent and his family lived in was in the path of the water and the deluge obliterated the house. Keep in mind that it was December and the temps were below freezing. Rescue workers found all five family members alive but suffering from hypothermia. The worst injury was to the young boy who suffered a burn on his leg from treatment for hypothermia.
The park superintendent settled out of court with the electric company and still works for the Missouri parks department in a different part of the state.
By the way, the original campground was directly in the path of the deluge of water and had this happened in the summer it would have been an even worse disaster.
My wife and I camped at the new campground at Johnson Shut-Ins shortly before the official reopening. Here's a link to a report I posted on another website back in 2010 about the new campground. RV.Net Open Roads Forum: RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions: Johnson's Shut-ins w/pics