Flood 2019 Riverfront

The Rennick Riverfront Park in Washington is closed to pedestrians and crossing the concrete barricade may land someone a ticket, the Washington Park Board warns.

Normally, the park doesn’t close until the Missouri River hits 28 feet. But, Parks Director Wayne Dunker decided when the park is closed to vehicles at 27 feet, that’s when the park will close to pedestrians.

“At 27 feet, the parking lots down there start to go underwater,” Dunker said. “So at 27 feet, they were closing Lafayette Street, the part that dead-ends to the park. For whatever reason, we’re not really sure why, at 28 feet we were closing the park. So to make it less confusing, we got rid of the 28 (feet).”

Now if the river reaches 27 feet, the barricades will go up.

“Hopefully in the future it’s only for a day or two, not for weeks,” Dunker said.

It was two weeks ago when the department put up a park closed sign and the concrete barrier.

“I guess people were going down there and (police) officers were talking to them,” Dunker said. “They were like, “Oh, I didn’t realize (the sign and barrier) pertained to us.”

Despite the barriers and sign, Dunker said the city is still getting reports of people being down there.

“We still have problems with people going around the (caution) tape . . . and using it as a park still,” he said. 

So this week, Dunker put up a sign that read, “No trespassing.”

Dunker said to his understanding people sneaking past the barricade could be ticketed.

“We’ve done our part,” he said. “I don’t know what more we can do.”

Dunker’s biggest concern is the area around the flagpole. 

“Because that’s a big drop,” he said. “It’s like a zero-entry into a pool.”