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Larson’s Landing Holding On, Barely

June 13, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

In almost 20 years of running Larson’s Landing RV Park in Yankton, S.D., Doug Larson never faced anything like the cascading Missouri River he now faces.

In a typical year, Larson has about 60 pads available for campers. But now it’s about 75% flooded with only 15 pads available to use, Larson said Sunday (June 12).

Campers and community members have helped him sandbag areas around the park to protect it from rising water, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.

“We’ve put sandbags up to protect the sand, because if the water runs over that it will wash it all away and my park will be down in New Orleans,” he said. “This is unprecedented.”

The strength of the levee systems are expected to be tested Tuesday, as the river’s current in southeast South Dakota reaches maximum force, officials said. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will adjust a final flow increase Tuesday to 150,000 cubic feet per second at Gavins Point Dam.

Other areas building levees and sandbagging, such as Wynstone and McCook Lake, are almost done with those projects, said Kristi Sandal, public information officer at the state’s emergency operations center .

At Larson’s Landing RV Park, he’s working with people who had reservations to camp on the other now-flooded pads this summer. Campers have been understanding, he said.

“They’ve been more than helpful in getting everything done,” Larson said. “They know it wasn’t caused by anything in the park. As they left, they said they wanted to be back next year. You can’t beat a deal like that.”

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