Some Lake Kansas campsites flooded, closed after constant rains

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HILLSDALE, Kan. – Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, all the recent rains can put a damper on the enjoyment of those planning to go camping.

The parks and campsites in the region are turning people away. But some manage.

Waves crashing over Hillsdale Lake bring a new meaning to a lakeside view.

“They might be fishing in the back,” said camper Larry Baxter, “but you’ll be fine.”

What may be good for fishing is not so good for camping. The staff moved the picnic tables so that they did not float.

Park superintendent Mark Nepote said he lost at least 30 campsites to water on Thursday. Depending on the weather, they could be forced to close dozens more.

“If we were to complete this loop it would be 60. There are 38 in another loop. So we could end up losing almost 100 campsites, utility sites, ”said Nepote. “The biggest weekend of the year.”

In total, Hillsdale has 230 sites and all were booked for Memorial Day weekend.

Baxter was supposed to set up camp at a campsite that is now underwater.

“The campsites that we were going to start getting flooded, so we moved here,” Baxter said.

He is ready to spend the holiday weekend with his children.

“We’ll have fun no matter what,” Baxter said.

The Wilson family are planning to have fun biking and hiking this weekend.

“I love to go swimming,” 9-year-old camper Addison Wilson said.

But swimming is not an option at the beach. It’s underwater and closed. Nepote said this is where they would normally see 1,000 people on Memorial Day weekend.

“We are patiently waiting for the water to flow or for it to stop raining,” mom Dustie Wilson said.

“Day utility sites” are also out of service, but Nepote said three shelters and two main boat ramps are open.

“If the weather is nice, I think we’ll see a lot of sailing again,” said Nepote.

As for some other lakes in the area: The Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday afternoon Clinton Lake was 6 feet above normal. Lake Perry was 4 feet above normal. They released water in both lakes, but had not yet released water in Hillsdale.

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