Weather made a big impact over Memorial Day Weekend, with flooding closing campgrounds in Texas, Arkansas and Missouri while California drought continues to impact camping and a dry spell meant no s’mores in New England until late evenings.
Lake Wister in Arkansas flooded campers out, rising 24 feet above normal television station KHBS reported. In Van Buren, Ark., Lee Creek RV Campground was submerged this morning (May 26), television station KFSM reported.
In Tipton Ford, Mo., Waters Edge Campground was evacuated to flooding. The campground manager told television station KSNF that the rainfall has really hurt the campsite’s profits. “Realistically, we’ve probably lost at least, you know, 75% of what we anticipated that we would probably have this weekend,” said Scott Whitman, manager.
But some of the worst flooding happened in Texas (see video to the right) and Oklahoma.
Reuters reported that rescue workers searched this morning for 12 people missing in Texas after torrential rains slammed the state and Oklahoma during the Memorial Day weekend, killing seven people and causing floods that destroyed homes and swept away bridges.
More bad weather was expected with the National Weather Service issuing a flash flood warning on Tuesday morning for Houston, the nation’s fourth most-populous city, as a line of thunderstorms moved along the Gulf of Mexico coast from Texas toward Florida.
Five people were killed in Texas on Monday and two in Oklahoma, where thunderstorms and tornadoes slammed several parts of the state.
Rescue workers looked for 12 members of two families missing after their vacation home was swept off its foundation in Wimberley, a town about 30 miles southwest of Austin, where flood waters caused a wave of destruction.
“It’s a tremendous clean up operation,” said Wimberley Mayor Steve Thurber. “(People) have lost their homes, they have lost their livelihoods in some businesses.”
In Bastrop, water breached the dam at Bastrop State Park Lake, television station KXAN reported.
The campground was been evacuated, and county officials worried about damage downstream. County officials said State Highway 71 was briefly flooded from water spilling out of the park.
In Blanco County, flooding destroyed RVs, destroyed a bridge and damaged roadways, according to another report from KXAN. “The rain just started a wall of water this weekend and headed on down,” said resident Art Brooks. As he walked along the Blanco River toward Blanco Settlement cabins and RV park, he saw road damage. “And I saw these RVs in the road and it just blew me away,” he said.
In Bandera, Pioneer RV Park and Riverside RV Park were among the places evacuated as the Medina River flooded Saturday, the Bandera Bulletin reported.
At the other end of the spectrum, dry conditions and temperatures in the 80s led to a campfire ban until 8 p.m. each day in Weare, N.H., television station WMUR reported. With the recent dry conditions, Eileen and Rick Bagley with Autumn Hills Campground in Weare said their customers took the news in stride.
“We spoke to everyone about being extra vigilant about their fires, and we gave everyone a florescent paper with instructions on what not to put in the fire. We made sure they had water buckets beside it, and hoses at the ready, and not to burn anything that could fly out of the fire pit,” said Eileen Bagley.
And on the West Coast, the years-long California drought led to the showers being shut off at Memorial County Park in Loma Mar, Calif., television station WGO reported.
The showers have been locked to help conserve water, since the park expected 2,000 campers over the weekend.
Pescadero Creek is the sole source of water for Memorial County Park, as well as the surrounding community.
“We want to be good neighbors, we want to share that water, we draw a lot, but we realize the residents also need to use the water as well, so that’s why we monitor our intake,” Carla Schoof from the San Mateo County Parks Department said.
If drought conditions get worse, flushable toilets could be the next thing to go.