Flooding Forces Fourth of July Campground Closure - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Flooding Forces Fourth of July Campground Closure

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Some area residents say flooding from high water levels on the Mississippi River has left them feeling like they live in a ghost town.

Thousands usually flock to Buffalo Shores in Buffalo, Ia during Fourth of July wee, but this year the park is under water.  

The Buffalo Shores park manager, Roger Larson, said if this had been just about any other year, there would be so many people he'd have to turn some of them away.

Larson said there were about 2,000 people on the beach at this time last year and more than 300 campers. This Monday there was no one.

This is the fourth time this year the park has closed for flooding.  Each day it's closed, Larson said the park is giving up about $1,300 it could have been making from the campers. That money could have been used to make improvements to parks in Scott County. But Larson added the officials main concern with the park being closed is with the unavailable recreation, not the revenue.

"That's all part of living on the river and we all have to take that into consideration," park manager Roger Larson said. "If I could control the river, it would make a big difference. But none of us can."

Not only is the flooding hurting the park along with its campers and beach goers.  

Some of the local businesses in the area say it's hurting them, too.

"That definitely takes effect on the customer count," owner of Clark's Landing restaurant Tony Mendez said. "We rely very heavily on the campgrounds and the boating season. We're right on the river."

The owner at Clark's Landing restaurant in Buffalo said the lack of people in town has forced him to cut down his staff.

And down the road from Clark's, an employee at the Shell gas station said the store there only needs half the number of workers it did last year.

The park manager said there's not much anyone can do but wait for the water in the park to recede. Then officials will still have to wait another week or two to let the ground dry before re-opening the park.