Frigid water from record snowpack has unexpected consequences for Valley campgrounds

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The Tulare County Sheriff's Office won't allow anyone in the Kings River because of safety concerns regarding hypothermia and flooding, and it's having a negative impact on campgrounds like Lindy's Landing in Reedley. (KFSN)

Local rivers are expected to flow much colder and higher this spring and summer thanks to a historic snowpack.

Just as we continue to see record water releases in the state, one local campground downstream is struggling to stay afloat.

"We've lost $15,000 to $20,000 just from people leaving, not counting what we could've made from people wanting to come camping," Lindy's Landing owner Jake Lange said.

Owners at Lindy's Landing in Reedley are pumping out water around the clock following seven straight weeks of flooding. Spill from the Kings River has forced the campground to shut down temporarily.

"We know the spots it seeped in. We can just fix it in the offseason and see what this year brings us," Lange said. "We might flood again. I got to make calls. I got to cancel people. I just had to cancel a big reunion 300 to 400 people for Memorial Day."

The popular campground, which sits on the Kings River, is losing money by the day since the Tulare County Sheriff's Office won't allow anyone in the river because of safety concerns.

Upstream at Pine Flat Lake, park rangers there are dealing with safety concerns of their own.

"Typically in May the lake is on the way up," ranger Adam Thompson explained. "This year, they're making room for the snowmelt."

With the most snowmelt we've seen in decades and warmer days ahead, water flows will no doubt fluctuate.

"Even a strong swimmer, in cold water, can have difficulties," Thompson said. "Hypothermia can set in along the water at the end of the lake by the dam."

Related Topics:
weatherfresno countyKings RiverReedley
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