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Flooding Closes State Park

WATERLOO, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -Park Managers closed George Wyth State Park in Waterloo around noon today when water started flooding camp sites.

It's the 1st time the park has closed this summer, kicking out campers for the weekend.

The Cedar River is already more than 12 feet deep which is equivalent to about two picnic tables. It's still rising.

"We wanted to check out the water and see how high it is," Angel Madrid said.

Angel and Nancy Madrid were planning to fish at the State Park, but wanted to double check it was closed Friday night.

"It bums us out," Angel said. "George Wyth Park is really nice."

When they arrived, it was closed but they weren't the only ones hoping to catch a fish.

"You were hoping that lake was open weren't you?" Allen Nebel asked his son, Steven.

They brought their boat out to the park in hopes of having a good night.

"We though we could come out and do some fishing," Nebel said.

They decided to head somewhere else to fish.

Park Managers watched the river levels quickly creep up through campsites and roads Friday.

"Every inch of rain that happens north of us is what we are concerned about," Park Manager Lori Eberhard said.

The National Weather Service expects more rain over the weekend and that will continue to increase river levels.

"When they get an inch of rain north of us, that's a foot of rain coming down," Eberhard said.

Right now, the river is projected to crest Sunday morning at 15.8 feet. That number doesn't include the rain this weekend.

Eberhard said she doesn't know how long the park will be closed. She said they will make that decision by Monday.

For now, they are taking safety precautions to help protect campers.

And encouraging everyone to "Turn Around and Don't Drown."

The Madrids and Nebels hope George Wyth State Park will be open again soon.

"This is bad luck," Nebel said.

The park said they'll continue to monitor river levels through the weekend as storms are expected through Sunday.

Then they'll  make the call whether they'll stay closed through the rest of the week.

You can find out when the park re-opens on their website: http://iowastateparksreserveamerica.com

 
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