Click here to watch a video, courtesy of KFYR-TV, Bismarck, N.D., about the following story.
A line of RVs and trailers are lined up at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in Bismarck, N.D., for the July fourth weekend. It`s a welcome change from last year when floodwaters closed down the campgrounds.
“It’s amazing. As soon as we opened up we were instantly busy and folks were out here,” said Dan Schelske, manager of the park. “The campground`s full and we’re glad to have them back.”
“You’re out of town. You’re not in the traffic. And it’s just a really nice park out here,” said Cindy Dockter, who was enjoying the campground. “The grass is so new now that the flood you can walk around barefoot. The grass is nice and soft.”
But there are still remnants from the flood. The water line is clearly etched on the surviving cottonwood trees. It’s a reminder that water drenched the park, reaching as high as 7 1/2 feet in some areas.
“You can see the marks of water on the trees there. It’s higher than my head you know. It’s just good that everything’s kind of getting back to the normal routine from the flood,” said Jim Aldinger.
Aldinger’s been camping at the park for years. He enjoys these hot and humid summer days. It’s a good excuse for a water fight and if nothing else, it’s a chance to cool himself down. “Why waste the water on them when you can just pour it onto yourself, you know?”
Park employees are excited for more people to come back and see the park after last summer’s flood. They spent nine months cleaning up and repairing all the damage, including the park’s two cabins.
Schelske said, “We reconstructed those cabins completely and made them a little taller so that the kids could be up on the loft and not bumping their heads.”
While there’s still more cleanup work to do, Schelske’s just happy to have a full house back at the park.
Nearly all of the 96 campsites at the park are taken this weekend.