The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

June 27, 2013

Rising river washes out campground celebration

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CAMANCHE — Rock Creek Marina and Campground’s first customer appreciation weekend has been canceled,due to dangerous river conditions and extreme flooding at the park.

The Clinton County Conservation Board and the Rock Creek Marina had planned the weekend of June 28 and 29 to say thank you to the community for its patronage.

“Just like any business we have a lot of regulars that come down and we want to more or less thank them for that continued support,” Park Ranger Brad Taylor said.

Events planned for the weekend included free and half price canoe rentals, a free kayak and canoe clinic and an early morning eco cruise. However, dangers like strong currents and heavy debris flow in flooded waters have forced the park to cancel all events.

Rock Creek concessions manager Michelle Stearns and the Clinton County Conservation Board work together to plan weekly events at the marina to get kids and families involved with ecological entertainment.

“We have events all the time but this was going to be the first year for the customer appreciation weekend. It’s unfortunate we had to cancel,” Stearns said.

It has been a rough and unfortunate summer all around for Rock Creek Marina, according to Taylor.

“With only having half the campground open, our revenue is down considerably since last year,” Taylor said. “The money we make is what keeps this place running, so lost revenue is a big deal to us.”

With river waters once again causing flooding in the area, the marina and campground will be forced to shut down the majority of the park for the next week or two.

Once the water recedes, the campground must then dry out to make it accessible to visitors, which means the park will be out of commission for the Fourth of July as well.

“Fourth of July is one of our biggest weekends. It looks like we will be totally shut down for that,” Taylor said.

Fortunately for the park, the permanent structures there have been built to withstand flooding season.

“The eco center should be open next week. We would have to see substantial flooding for that to be damaged,” Taylor said.

The river is expected to crest Saturday or Sunday and Taylor is holding onto hope that it will recede as quickly as it rose.