Floodwaters Damage Minnesota Park
Denny Reed, head of maintenance at Camp Winnebago, said he was shocked to see the devastation at the facility's public campground situated on Winnebago Creek near Spring Grove in southeast Minnesota.
With the ground already saturated from recent rainfall, and then with more than 8 inches of rain last week at the camp, the creek swelled and ripped through the campground pushing two steel bridges off their footings as well as 400 to 500 cubic yards of rock that was placed at the creek for riprap two years ago when flooding devastated Houston County, according to the Spring Grove Herald.
Reed said that there was only one person camping at the campground that night and no one was hurt. However, one of the permanent campers was washed away by the water and completely destroyed. None of the other campers at the campground were damaged though.
Camp Winnebago just finished repairs last year from the flooding of 2008 and now faces backbreaking work to clean up the rock washed onto the campground as well as replacing the two bridges.
Reed noted, "We raised the bridge up one foot higher than in 2008 and it still washed away."
He said that the camp contacted Rick Frank, head of Houston County Environmental Services, who indicated that there were no resources available for cleanup after countywide flooding two years ago.
The camp will have to rely on volunteers for clean up as well as monetary donations to the non-profit facility. Reed said that the camp needs financial help to buy rock and pay for clean up.
He said that people have already been helping and offering to let the camp use heavy equipment to replace the bridges and clean up campground. "There are a lot of good people in this area," Reed said, hoping to open the campground this week.
Camp Winnebago is a private, non-profit organization established and dedicated to serving the recreational needs of adults and children with developmental disabilities.
The camping area is open to the public and is located in the lower part of the camp along Winnebago Creek.