Floodwaters Close Illinois Campground

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May 19, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Last week's heavy rains have many rivers in Illinois swollen and overflowing. That includes the Illinois River. There has been a flood warning for the Illinois River at Peoria in effect since March 8.
As of Monday (May 18), the area had reached a new all-time record for the consecutive number of days of a running flood warning, according to WEEK-TV, East Peoria.
It's affecting many areas including the Fon Du Lac Park District in East Peoria. The river is going to go where the river wants to go.
The Illinois River is moving in on the Carl Spindler Marina and campgrounds in East Peoria. So much so the campgrounds are closing.
"It's all mother nature. Nobody has control over it. There's no reason to be upset. It's just something you have to deal with," said Stephen Grube.
Like many of the tenants at Fon Du Lac Park district grounds, Grube is packing up once again.
"We got moved out in September last year, I was going to stay until November. I had a reservation for April. I couldn't get in because of the high water again. So I moved in May 1; 18–19 days later I'm out again," said Grube.
A sentiment shared by many as campers slosh through the murky river waters now covering the grounds.
"We're heading back to Colorado. At 7,000 feet I don't think we'll get flooded. It happens. I don't think you stay here without somewhat being prepared. It's going to flood sooner rather than later," said camper Bob Riddle.
But many were hoping for later, since this is the third time water has flooded the campgrounds since September. Just ask Mike Johnson, the Fon Du Lac Park District police chief.
"I was tired of it on day one, but we're dealing with it," said Johnson.
The chief says he hopes the water doesn't get into the office this time, like it did last September and again in March.
"March was worse than September. We had about 3 1/2 feet inside the office at that point. There's portions of the park that haven't open since March. So it's gong to be a rough year for the budget for the park district," said Johnson.
Plus with Memorial Day right around the corner, campers most likely won't get to enjoy the kickoff to summer at Spindler Marina thanks to the Illinois River waters.

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