High water levels cause campgrounds to flood - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

High water levels cause campgrounds to flood

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The Mississippi River in La Crosse has been at or above flood stage for the last three days. It's been three years since the river has been this flooded. The last time was in April of 2011, when the river crested at almost 14 feet. So far this month the river has been above twelve feet for a total of seven days.

And all that water means two local campgrounds won't see as much business this Memorial Day weekend.

When the water level on the Mississippi gets high, Pettibone Campground is one of the first places to get flooded. Campground manager Zeb Allert said
the campground has been closed since November.

Ten inches of rain this Spring puts us two and a half inches above average, and puts most of the campground underwater.

"We've got people that come for Memorial Day for the last 20 years and now they have to find different plans this year," said Allert.

Out of 300 camp sites only five aren't flooded, according to Allert.  A busy Memorial Day weekend can bring in about $20,000.

At Goose Island campground, 100 of their 400 sites are flooded. Sue Lachman, Seasonal Clerk at the campground, said "there's a lot of spots there all along the river, all gone."

While all their available camp sites are booked up this weekend, there won't be any canoeing.  Lachman said they do no rent out canoes because the water level is too high.

Pettibone campground hopes to have half of their sites available by next weekend. Goose Island thinks every camp site could be open by mid June.

The National Weather Service says the river should fall below flood stage by Friday.

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