Some businesses flourish despite Kings River closure

FRESNO, Calif.

Instead of going to the river, many people made last minute plans to come here and that was the case at other places throughout the Valley. Just like the Kings River, portions of Fresno County's lost lake are also experiencing flooding issues.

On Sunday, water reached picnic tables and many people waded through a parking lot. Signs alerted visitors to stay out of the area.

Oscar Cruz of Fresno and his friend, Debbie Borchard came regardless of the warning, primarily because the Kings River is still closed. "I'd be floating down the river if they'd let us. I've been floating the Kings River ever since I was six years old."

At nearby Millerton Lake, a line of cars and trucks waited to enter the parking lot.

Pete Nunez of Fresno rented a jet ski for the day, telling Action News he feels safer here. "I'm not crazy about the Kings River. It's ok, but the chances of getting drowned is a lot more than here."

An employee with Millerton Lake rentals says since the Kings River closure, business has improved.

"We're already sold out of boats. It's maybe 12:00 and we already sold out. On Sunday, people don't usually start coming up until here until about 2, so this is unusual for this time of year," Larry Calandra said.

The Island Water Park in Northwest Fresno has also seen an increase in business.

Employees say the past week has netted them nearly 20-percent more visitors than average. In fact, on Sunday, a busload of 50 people stopped by even though they were supposed to go to the Kings River.

"You know, they had to make alternate plans and we're more than happy to accommodate. "Any opportunity we have to get new bodies in here, it's just a blast," Dan Bejarano said.

Fresno County Sheriff's Office who said they did not make any rescues at the Kings River Sunday. As for when it will reopen, that all depends on how quickly the water levels go down which could take at least another two weeks.

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