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Flooding concerns force state campground to hold off on 2020 reservations

Darwin Smith Jr.
CC by SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)
A view of Lake Michigan from Muskegon State Park.

A popular state campground in West Michigan has put a hold on reservations for next year, over fears the campground could be flooded.

The Channel Campground sits on Muskegon Lake in Muskegon State Park.

Greg Sherburn is the supervisor of the park. He says normally, the campground would open up for Memorial Day weekend reservations about now. But he says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is forecasting high Great Lakes water levels into the spring.

“Say the water does come up as the Corps of Engineers has forecasted, and three quarters of the channel campground is underwater,” he says. “That’s a lot of phone calls and a lot of vacations we have to call and ruin.”

Sherburn says closed campsites will mean less revenue for the state Department of Natural Resources.

“That’s one of the busier campgrounds in the entire state,” he says. “If we can’t sell campsites, that’ll definitely affect revenue.”

Sherburn says reservations could resume if the forecast for lake levels changes. Otherwise, he says sites will be available first-come, first-serve if they stay dry.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.