Flooding Fears in Herkimer County

By Mary Wilson | marwilson@wutr.tv

Published 04/17 2014 06:23PM

Updated 04/18 2014 10:02PM

Herkimer County facing flooding fears this week. The West Canada Creek rising so high the Route 28 bridge above it was closed. It's back open today but much of the flood water has not yet receded.
They're calling it minor flooding, but for the owner of a campground right on the creek, it's a major problem. And this is the third time in the recent past that his business has been washed out.
"From 2006 to today we lost 16 feet of bank," said Mike Papp.
The creek bank at West Canada Creek Campsites is eroding and floods are coming more and more often.
"It's kind of scary because I wouldn't say we had a higher than average snowfall this year," said Mike.
Driving across the campground, there's half-a-dozen places where flood water has taken over. It came from the five-square-mile Hinckley Reservoir, which the creek flows out of. When the dam overflows, Mike's campsite is in trouble. "It's coming in three times as fast as they're letting it out, it filled up in less than a day and then once it hits the top of the spillway well now its just coming over the top of the dam," he said.
Mike was supposed to open his campsite two days ago, but with the flooding that date's been pushed forward and with each day he's losing money.
"Now the ground's wet and and I've got to do the road work to be able to open and I can't even let the campers come in, they're heavy and they'll just sink right down in this mud," he said.
Despite a problem that only seems to be getting worse, the floodwater won't stop Mike from opening up and welcoming campers.
"I love the work that I do, this is the greatest job in the world, if you will, my campers are not my customers, they're my friends and family," he said.
The West Canada Creek Campsites will open May 1st.

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