High Water Forces Closure Of Cedar Valley Campgrounds
With the Cedar River on the rise, some popular campgrounds around the Cedar Valley will be closed this weekend. One park is already indundated with water and campers are being forced out of two others due to flooding.
Officials are evacuating campers at George Wyth State Park near the Waterloo Regional Airport. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says George Wyth will close at noon on Friday (June 20, 2014). The park will remain closed through Tuesday, but could be shuttered longer depending on weekend rain.
DNR officials say all of George Wyth's camp sites were reserved for this weekend.
Downstream from George Wyth, in Evansdale, city officials are working to get campers out of another popular recreation spot. The rising Cedar River is also forcing the closure of Deerwood Park Friday night. Among the campers being forced to move out are dozens that are registered to stay the entire summer.
Deerwood Park is expected to be closed through early next week.
Northwest of Cedar Falls, flood water has already closed Black Hawk Park. County officials blocked off the park's entrance on Wednesday (June 17) when water began running over roadways.
The National Weather Service has posted a flood warning for the Cedar River at Cedar Falls through Wednesday evening. The river is forecast to crest about 4 1/2 feet above the 88-foot flood stage on Sunday afternoon. While minor flooding is occurring along the Cedar River now, moderate flooding is expected.
At 3:45 a.m. on Friday (June 20), the river stage was 89.9 feet. That's about two-feet above flood stage.
Parks along the Cedar River aren't the only ones being closed by high water.
Black Hawk County Conservation officials also closed Siggelkow Park on Thursday. The campground is located along the Wapsipinicon River northeast of Dunkerton.
In Fayette County, recent rains and downed trees have forced officials to close equestrian trails at the Volga River State Recreation Area.
In Delaware County, several entrances to Backbone State Park are closed until further notice. High water in the main part of the park has forced officials to close the east, west and north entrances. However, the DNR says Backbone's two campgrounds, beach area and cabins remain open.