The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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July 3, 2013

Flooding dampens parks' Fourth plans

Rock Creek, Walnut Grove, Sherman hit

CAMANCHE — Floodwaters are once again putting a damper on the Rock Creek Marina and Campground in Camanche, as well as other area parks.

The Clinton County Conservation Board shut down the park Friday after water levels exceeded the banks and spilled onto the roadway.

“Flooding used to be fairly predictable, but it is getting harder and harder each year,” Clinton County Conservation Director Walt Wickham said.

His predictability concerns may be in reference to the near record drought in July 2012, and the near record flooding in May 2011.

“All we can do is hope for the best, and prepare for the worst,” Wickham said.

If National Weather Service predictions hold true, floodwaters near Camanche should recede from 17.7 feet on Tuesday to 16.7 feet by Friday, allowing the Conservation Board to re-open part of the campground.  

“The water should be off the road by (today). The Eco Center will be opened then, and we’re hoping to have some of the campsites open on Friday,” Wickham said.

Along with Rock Creek Marina and Campground, other Clinton County parks are having troubles with their Fourth of July plans as well.

Sherman Park in Calamus will be partially opened for the holiday celebration, but because of the limited space, all the available campsites have already been booked.

Walnut Grove Park in Wheatland anticipates the park to be open today, but warns guests that the campsites will be wet and muddy.  

Eden Valley Refuge will be open, with primitive and electric campsites available, but the event schedule for the weekend was altered to accommodate the high water.

“We are used to having flooding in the spring and it being down by now,” Wickham said. “All we can do at this point is just wait it out.”

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