Lanesboro wakes up to campground flooded by Root River - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Lanesboro wakes up to campground flooded by Root River

LANESBORO, Minn. (KTTC)- Heavy rains have many along the Root River in clean-up mode after the waters go over the banks. For campers in Lanesboro, this is creating quite a mess.

The last thing people in Lanesboro thought they would see Sunday morning was the Root River encroaching on them, but that is exactly what they got after another extended round of rain.

The past 24 hours could be summed up like this.

"We drove down the Root River valley this morning, and it's just stunning to see what's happening," says Dallas Eggers of Prescott, Wisconsin.

For people walking through downtown Lanesboro on Sunday, the roar of the Root River is the first thing they notice.

"We've seen heavy rains, but have never seen this volume of water come over the dam, ever," says Eggers, who has visited Lanesboro each year for the past five years. "This is like 10 to 20 times what it would normally be, or more."

That high water level has taken its toll. At the Highway 250 Campground, the river waters struck a mighty blow. The water levels were fine when they went to bed Saturday night, but by Sunday morning there was chaos.

"There's quite a few trailers that we couldn't get out," says Linda Owen, a camper from Rochester. "So, some of them are under water. We've lost decks, we've lost tables, chairs, stairs, you name it. Grills, just about anything you can think of."

While the water receded to only ankle deep by mid-afternoon, at one point the water was chest high as people were trying to get their campers out of this area. The campground is a very popular tourist spot for people that want to travel through Lanesboro, and people keep arriving year after year even with the Root River right next to it.

"We feel very lucky we got out, because we had hesitated not even moving out because we have a pretty high fifth wheel, but we're glad we did," says Owen. 

Now, the task for the loyal campers is to clean up as much as they can.

"It's going to be at least a week before anyone can get back in, and if it keeps raining we won't get back in because the ground is so saturated that you would just sink," says Owen. "So, we don't plan to do anything except maybe look for a few valuables and try to get them all out."

The campers that were cleaning up Sunday said this was the fourth time the river has gone over the banks, but nothing as destructive as what they were seeing in front of them.

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