Areas near reservoir battered from waterOne lakeside campground looks more like a tornado alley than the recreation area of its past. Power lines are cut, fence posts are down and trees, trash and 2x4s float against the shore like remnants of a battled sea vessel. Pelican Point Landing re-ceived water damage after water levels at the Jamestown Reservoir rose to 1,454 feet.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
One lakeside campground looks more like a tornado alley than the recreation area of its past.
Power lines are cut, fence posts are down and trees, trash and 2x4s float against the shore like remnants of a battled sea vessel.
Pelican Point Landing re-ceived water damage after water levels at the Jamestown Reservoir rose to 1,454 feet.
Pelican Point, a campground on the west side of the Jamestown Reservoir, is located 6 miles north of Jamestown. Many areas of Jamestown Reservoir were damaged by high flood waters, but Pelican Point is one of the worst.
The value of the damages is still unknown, said Denny Lorenz, Stutsman County Park superintendent, in part because much of it remains underwater.
“I don’t know if thousands (of dollars) would cover it,” he said.
A swing-set sat submerged Tuesday as waves lapped against the spiral slide of a bright yellow, blue and red playground.
The campground’s concession building, bathhouse and group shelter bobbed like fishing floats Tuesday in water nearly 8 feet deep.
All those items will likely need replacing, said Noel Johnson, Stutsman County chief operating officer. Plus, Jamestown Reservoir’s infrastructure, roads, beaches and parking lots will likely need repairs too. Johnson said he couldn’t estimate the cost of the repairs.
Neither could Stutsman County Commission Chairman Mark Klose.
“A total value amount would just be a pure guess,” he said.
But repairs throughout the county would likely exceed seven figures.
County Road Superintendent Mike Zimmerman estimated costs to repair main roads throughout the county in excess of $4 million at the County Commission meeting Tuesday. That estimate only includes main roads, not lesser roads or township roads.
The county could qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, Johnson said it’s unlikely it would receive any. Stutsman County already receives funding from government agencies like the Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Reclamation and Garrison Diversion. So it likely won’t qualify for federal aid for its losses as well, Johnson said.
And the county’s losses aren’t limited to damaged property. The county loses revenue from the loss of business too.
Last year, the county earned about $14,000 from camping fees at Pelican Point. That money is a percentage of what the campground generates in its May-September season.
This year, the campground may open in July or August once the water levels recede and the ground dries.
“We might be in nothing but mud,” Lorenz said.
The other portion of the camping fee revenue is income for those who run Pelican Point like Laura Beth Fruetel, who manages the campground and its concession area. Fruetel said she isn’t sure what she’ll do about her personal loss of income. But in the meantime, she’s picked up part-time work and is concentrating on clean up and repair.
“My focus is just to get that campground back open and that’s what I’m going to do,” she said.
And personal loss isn’t limited to business income.
Several of the reservoir’s cabins and residence s sustained damage too.
One homeowner on the east side built sandbag dikes 4 feet high. That wasn’t enough to protect it from the reservoir’s record-level water heights. Water inundated that residence and by Tuesday, about 2 feet of water remained throughout the property.
The water lapped against the sandbags of several residences and it encircled one cabin like an island. The owners built a makeshift bridge from the door to dry land out of boat docks, plywood and wooden pallets.
FEMA may help with primary residences, but secondary residences and vacation homes do not qualify, according to its Web site.
For Lorenz, the damages he has to repair throughout the reservoir are intimidating, but could be worse.
“I guess I got enough problems down there, but look what these people have to deal with,” he said.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org