Friday, June 29, 2007

Rising water forces RVers Campers to move

GRAPEVINE -- The rains pelting Texas have been so heavy this month that even a camper from the damp Pacific Northwest was taken by surprise.

"This is a whole new experience," said John Brandt, a 55-year-old retired excavation contractor staying in his motor home at The Vineyards Campground on the shores of a rain-swollen Lake Grapevine. Brandt said he's used to lots of rain -- but spread out in a steady drizzle throughout the year.

Brandt, who lives in Oregon, has had to move his motor home twice as the lake rose.

Late Thursday afternoon, the lake was nearly 12 feet above its normal elevation of 535 feet above sea level, with the waters expected to crest at 13 feet above normal.

Although the campers took it in stride, the lake level is causing eyebrows to float up at the city parks department. The campground is normally packed this time of year, including campers coming in for the city's annual fireworks show. Many campers with reservations must be turned away, said Doug Evans, director of parks and recreation.
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