b'Green Harbor Campground has seen significant flood damage in FloodingatBedfordCreekCampgroundhascausedsome Some owners along Lake Ontario blame flooding on mismanage-two of the past three years. campers to cancel reservations in the past.ment of the lake.Park Operators Along the Great Lakes Deal with the Annual Threat of Spring FloodingBY JEFF CRIDER In 2017, our whole marina and beach was open the beach area of the campground until would affect our water treatment systems.For campground operators along Lake On- completely under water, said Barb Ander- the second week of July that year. Its a lot In the summer of 2019, the power went outtario, COVID-19 is only the latest problem af- son, a co-owner of the park, which has 700 more expensive to run the same business for 22 hours on the Fourth of July, the busiestfecting their businesses. In two of the past feet of beachfront along Lake Ontario. (when campsites are not occupied), she day of the season. We were within hours ofthree years, park operators with lakefront Green Harbor Campground had just in- said. the Health Department telling us we had tocampsites have dealt with flooding that some stalled sewer service for its 100 campsites Then there were the costs associated shut down the whole place, Shim recalled.blame on mismanagement. before the 2017 flood took place. When it with hauling in dirt and gravel to elevate the To mitigate the situation, in the fall of 2019Green Harbor Campground & Marina in flooded, part of our new sewer system was campground to protect it from flooding. the Shims invested $80,000 in three commer-Lyndonville, N.Y., sustained significant dam- under water for four months, she said. In 2018, we raised the ground by about cial generators, which are large enough toage and a loss of business during the floods The flood didnt damage the sewer sys- three feet, but it still flooded in 2019. So, now ensure the campground would have enoughof 2017 and 2019. tem, but Anderson said she wasnt able to were raising it again another two feet, An- power to run its water and sewage treatmentderson said. systems in addition to satisfying other camp-Other campgrounds affected by Lake On- ground power needs.tario flooding in recent years include the 1000 Jerry Standford, who co-owns and oper-Islands/Association Island Kampgrounds of ates Bedford Creek Campground & MarinaAmerica (KOA) in Henderson, N.Y., which in Sackets Harbor, N.Y., said the floods of 2017was built by Dr. Nak Shim, an orthopedic sur- and2019alsoaffectedhis200-sitepark,geon, and his wife, Sue. which has 1,000 feet of waterfront.The Shims, both immigrants from South 2017 was the first year that it hit hard, heKorea, opened the campground in 2002. They said. We did not have access to our beach.also elevated the causeway that leads to the It was under water. As a result, we had 20 toisland by 2-1/2 feet, which was enough to en- 25 sites that we could not rent for the majoritysure continued access to the island even dur- of the season. When youre in northern Newingthe2017and2019floods.Butthe York, you really only have two months of sum-excessively high lake levels still caused con- mer. Thats July and August.siderable damage to their campground. Standfords dock was also submerged byBecause of the flooding, it affected our the floods, causing tremendous damage. Oneelectrical system, according to the Shims company told him its going to cost $75,000 toson, Dr. John Shim, a Tampa, Fla.-based or- repair the dock and elevate it to better with-thopedic surgeon who is now helping them stand future floods. Hes hoping to securerun the campground. It knocked things out economicassistancethroughNewYorkleft and right. Our phone wouldnt work at States Climate Smart Resiliency Plan, whichtimes. The electricity would go out and it could potentially cover half of his costs. Butso far, the state funding has not materialized.Standford said the floods prompted him toproactively contact his campers in 2017 and2019 to update them on water levels andflooding impacts and, in some cases, to can-cel their reservations.This year, instead of trying to keep close to30 waterfront campsites available for tran-sient use, Standford said he converted all ofthem to seasonal campsites, which generateless income. But at least, he said, his campersknow what the risks are. He added that someof his campers have even paid to bring in theirown gravel to elevate their campsites. While water levels in each of the GreatLakes have again reached very high levelsthis spring, no campground flooding was re-ported along private shoreline campgroundsas of late May. But park operators along LakeOntario remain wary of recurring floods.Standford, Shim and Anderson attributethe recent flooding problems to governmentmismanagement of water levels in Lake On-tario and other Great Lakes. Others cite cli-mate change as a contributor.Anderson said Green Harbor Campgroundhas been in operation for 50 or 60 years andit had never flooded until they started mess-ing with the lake. If they would just let thewater out (of the lake) in the fall, they wouldnthave this problem.But government entities are trying to en-courage bigger ships to come through LakeOntario so they are keeping more water in thelake, and making it less able to handle floodSpring Floodingcontinued on page 2612 -August 2020Woodalls Campground Management'