Flooding late last week has left hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of damage at a nearby summer camp.
Now the nonprofit group that runs the camp is asking for the community's help in the recovery.
Camp Winnebago in Caledonia is a summer camp for adults and children with developmental disabilities.
This is the third time in the past six years flooding has caused serious damage to the area. The camp's director, Barb Cage, said it's never even had the chance to fully recover from the two previous floods before this most recent one hit.
Every time the community has helped in the recovery, and organizers are hoping they can come through once again.
Ana and Zach Thesing have been looking forward to this week for a while.
“It's just a week where he gets to make new friends and I get to hang out with him, and it's really fun,” said Ana.
They're twins. Ana is a camp counselor at Camp Winnebago. Zach is one of the many campers here with a developmental disability, but this week he's just a regular guy who gets to enjoy regular things.
“This camp is just so special because we adapt so that anyone can do anything that a typical individual could do,” said Ana.
But Zach won't be able to everything he wanted to this week.
“‘Do you wish you could have gone fishing?’ Ana asked Zach. “Yeah,” replied Zach. “It's kind of a bummer,” said Ana.
Heavy rain last weekend flooded the lower campground displacing picnic tables, washing out the main gravel road and ripping the main bridge from its supports.
“The bridge that used to be here is where we did our fishing,” said Tommy Means, the camp’s program coordinator. “We have our volleyball court, we have the basketball court (and) we have a huge programing area for our sports and games, so we can't get down here to do those sorts of things.”
Cage estimates the damage will cost upwards of $150,000.
“For a nonprofit that's struggled over the last few years in the economy, that's going to make it difficult for us,” said Cage. “We're going to have to depend on the giving of others.”
For now, campers have had to make do with using just the upper campground, but Cage is confident things will return to normal again. It will just take some time and a lot of help.
“We can do this,” said Cage. “It's just, ‘How are we going to do this?’”
The lower campground is in a flood plain, so it’s not covered by insurance. Cage said the health department came by Wednesday to assess the damage.
As of right now, no one can stay on the lower campgrounds until things get clean up, for health concerns.
Organizers hope to start cleaning up in a couple of weeks once the lower camp dries out.
For more information on how to volunteer or make a donation, head to www.campwinnebago.org.