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Old 08-02-2010, 10:37 AM   #15
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There's really nothing different now. Just complacency, denial, and greed. The dams are all still there. Still dirt. It took probably 20 years for Pactola to fill up again. We had dry years before the flood. That's why they seeded the clouds the day of the flood. By the way, they didn't tell the campers at Keystone they were seeding the clouds right above them.

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Do your homework. Don't just plop down by a pretty stream. There might be an earthen dam right above you. I don't remember fatalities in Custer park, but they have their creeks. Be fussy. I'm not in the: "It can't happen to me" crowd. It CAN happen to me. I've never heard anybody say they were sorry that they camped on a safe site.

Some campers seem attracted to the dangerous spots near rivers and streams. I can camp in a stream area and walk down to the stream, but I want to sleep up on the hill away from anything like a flash flood area.

That's one thing I like about the KOA's and other commercial campgrounds. They're usually located in a pretty safe area. The local, state, and national parks are often developed on land that's deemed unsafe. Guess what the flood path of the Rapid Creek flood in Rapid City is now. You guessed it . . . a park.

When's the last time ya heard about anybody killed in a flash flood in a Wal Mart parking lot? :-) They build those on the hill tops on purpose. I'm not writing about making a family vacation in Wal Mart parking lots, but I bet if I picked spots next to big boxes I'd be much safer than in a river park or creek side campground.

Sorry creek siders, I'm just not yer guy.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:03 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Lewis and Clark is on my list of places to camp and so are other campgrounds along the Missouri.
Are they all below the dams?

Gavin's Point Dam (Lewis & Clark) is an earthen dam below a series of other earthen dams. There are above the spillway campgrounds at Lewis & Clark but they fill up first. The last time I camped at Lewis & Clark, it was HOT and the mosquitos tried to eat me alive. It's not my favorite spot. Of course, the towns of Yankton and Sioux City are both below those dams.

I "sort" of trust those dams, but I don't want to camp directly below any dam on the planet. If ya go to Google Earth Gavin's Point Dam, Yankton, SD, and look at the green tree markers you see sites like Weigand Recreation Area on the Nebraska bluff side.

I don't camp around here so, no first hand experience.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:11 AM   #17
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Thanks for sharing that info. I'll keep it in mind when traveling and picking future camp sites around the country.
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:48 AM   #18
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Good info, I'd never thought of that as a problem. Is the fact that it is an earthen dam the problem, or could the same danger be applied to dams like Davis Dam (Lake Mojave) or Hoover Dam (Lake Meade) ?
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:58 AM   #19
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Good info, I'd never thought of that as a problem. Is the fact that it is an earthen dam the problem, or could the same danger be applied to dams like Davis Dam (Lake Mojave) or Hoover Dam (Lake Meade) ?

I guess everything's a personal decision. I don't live or go to sleep below a dam. The problem we had here was the concrete dam had earthen dams above it. The concrete dam held but there was a flow of water four feet high coming over the top.

I don't camp under high voltage power lines either.

To each their own. May we all return home safe and happy!

Gary
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:38 PM   #20
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Campers Flip With Family Inside

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

Campers Flip With Family Inside


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By Cherlene Richards
Published: August 9, 2010, 4:53 PM

YANKTON, SD - People are picking up the pieces after a dangerous thunderstorm rolled through KELOLAND Sunday night, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Near Yankton, trees snapped like toothpicks, and campers flipped with people still inside.

Three campgrounds near the Gavins Point Dam were slammed head on with straight-line winds of up to 70 miles per hour. Of the hundreds of people there Sunday night, two were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and countless others received scratches and bruises from the storm. One Iowa family says they're just happy no one was seriously hurt, especially when their campers overturned with their children still inside.

Without warning, the winds picked up fast.

�All of a sudden, my husband says, 'Denise, go to their campground tell them to take cover.' He went to our campground to get the girls,� Denise Schreier said.

Schreier ran to get her 4-year-old son in one camper, while Paul ran to warn their daughter and her friend in a separate one. But neither of them made it in time.

�Carla and her son got out, Brian went to grab his dogs and my son and the camper just flipped over, rolled twice right in front of me. I darted behind a tree' our camper went over,� Denise said.

�As soon as my dad reached for the door, we saw him out the window, it flipped. I went flying and the mattress was on me, and I blacked out,� Tawney Schreier said.

Thirteen-year-old Tawney and her 12-year-old friend, Melea Nielsen, say it happened so fast and without warning. When Tawney came to, she called 911.

�Things were breaking when we were trying to stand on them from all the water leaking in,� Tawney said.

And it's hard to believe that just feet away, her little brother was tossed in this camper that landed with the door to the ground. Their friend inside broke a window and climbed out, with Brayden and his two pets. Brayden received scratches on his arm and their friend a bump on the head. Everyone is just happy no one was seriously injured.

�Things can be replaced, and we're glad everybody's OK,� Denise said.

Crews at Cottonwood campground are also trying to lift trees off of campers.

Some of the trees that were damaged Sunday night were almost 100 feet tall and several decades old.

Among the hundreds of people that were staying at these campgrounds, only about two dozen campers were overturned. For the Schreier family, it's proof of Mother Nature's strength and a sign that lives can change in an instant.

�Last night, it was really hard to go to sleep because you could see all the flashbacks, of everything broken around you,� Tawney said.

Several homes in the lake area west of Yankton were also damaged by fallen limbs and trees. Lightening struck a home in Yankton, but damage was minimal.

Officials say they haven't seen this much damage in the area in at least six or seven years.




� 2010 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:55 PM   #21
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Wow! Thanks for letting us know about this. Is the weather a little better during the month of Sept. in that area?
Some months the weather here get pretty bad too! Usually in the Spring.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:17 PM   #22
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This is an odd year. Lots of rain and storms almost every night. I wouldn't stay away, just a heads up. Things usually calm down a bit by September but not always:-)

Gary
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:20 PM   #23
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Only 24 campers turned over.
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