The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

May 29, 2013

Rain doesn't dampen holiday spirit

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Memorial Day brought more than memories for travelers this past weekend.

It brought cool temperatures, excessive rain and high river levels, but, according to Rock Creek Park Officer Brad Taylor, that didn’t stop everyone.

“People who want to camp are going to camp,” said Taylor. “They just made bigger fires and sat under canopies.”

Although high river levels and flooding only allowed for half of the campground to be opened, all the campsites were full, Taylor said.

“Everything we had open was full. Every site and every cabin,” said Taylor.

As the rains increased through the weekend, so did the flooding. Taylor said there were a few people affected by it, so they packed up early and headed home.

He said he did see a decrease in boater activity because of the rising water, about a fourth of what he sees on a typical holiday weekend.

“Normally the lot is full of fishermen and pleasure boaters on Saturday and Sunday, but fishing has been slow all spring because of this weather,” said Taylor. “It was a lot slower than a normal Memorial Day weekend,” Taylor said.

Rock Creek wasn’t the only area affected by the weather this weekend.

The Clinton Marina also saw a decrease in Memorial Day travelers. Cindy Brackemeyer, a representative of the marina, said she would have liked to see more out-of-town travelers.

“I wanted to see a little more, but the boaters all had happy mindsets,” said Brackemeyer.

As for dangers on the flooded Mississippi, Brackemeyer said it was fine to travel on, adding that a yacht from St. Paul, Minn., made the trip down without any problems.

The Morrison-Rockwood Campground in Morrison, Ill., experienced heavy bouts of rain throughout Memorial Day weekend as well, but according to site technician Rich Hunter, the campground saw an increase of campers compared to last year.

“People didn’t bother with the weather much. The fishing was good and everyone had a pretty good time,” said Hunter.

Along with campers, there were also a number of graduation parties held in the campground. To avoid the heavy parts of rain, many of the grounds’ shelters were put to use by party-goers.

Hunter said, despite the rain, all of the campground patrons had a “pretty good outlook on the weekend.”