Flooded Dubuque campground closed for Memorial Day weekend - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Flooded Dubuque campground closed for Memorial Day weekend

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Flooding on the Mississippi River is leaving some very coveted camping spots empty in Dubuque this weekend. Flooding on the Mississippi River is leaving some very coveted camping spots empty in Dubuque this weekend.
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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Flooding on the Mississippi River is leaving some very coveted camping spots empty in Dubuque this weekend.

The city announced it's keeping Miller-Riverview Park and Campground closed for Memorial Day Weekend.

A swollen Mississippi River did its damage when it was higher earlier this spring, and the mess it left behind as the water slowly recedes has rendered the area unfit for camping.

The roads are caked with silt, debris ranging from twigs to a full log are strewn about the area, and gravel from campsites has long been swept down river.

The sign hanging on the locked gates outside Miller-Riverview Park and Campground in Dubuque is one no camper wants to see. It says, "Temporarily Closed."

On Tuesday afternoon, frequent camper Dick Lang came to survey the damage and see if the park had re-opened yet. He and his family have a long history here.

"My wife and I used to come down here in a tent with five kids," Lang said, who is now retired. "Since then, we've upgraded, we've got a motor home, and now we come down here and spend every weekend down here during the summer."

They won't be spending Memorial Day weekend here, however, as planned.

Lang described it as, "tough. Can't go no place else. The people that normally come down here are already gone out at Swiss Valley (Campground), so that place is already filled up, so the wife and I decided we're not even going to try, you know. All the spots are taken now."

Miller-Riverview's campground is so popular, the city holds a lottery system for reservations for both Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July holiday.

This spring, however, all the people lucky enough to snag a camping spot for Memorial Day weekend will now be getting nothing but a refund.

Dubuque's park division manager Steve Fehsal said it will take at least a week to clean the campground, and he anticipates starting next week.

"They'll grade off this mud, pick the logs up, hopefully they might re-gravel the spots," Lang said, who said he's seen plenty of floods over the years there as an avid camper. "They'll bring a cleaner in here and clean down to the blacktop, get the grass cut."

There's a lot of work to be done on the park's 100 campsites with full electric hookups and several tent areas.

Remaining pockets of standing water could mean extra mosquitos, too.

Fehsal said there were a total of 14 parties with reservations this weekend, most of which included multiple sites. He said those folks can request a refund.

He hopes to have the Miller-Riverview campground back open by mid-June, if the Mississippi River decides to not rise again.

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