Flooding affecting Memorial Day camping in La Crosse

Flood stage for the Mississippi River in La Crosse is 12 feet, a mark we hit early Tuesday evening.

The flood warnings come at an especially bad time for area campgrounds and other businesses hoping to capitalize on Memorial Day tourism.

Goose Island Campground on La Crosse’s southside is one of those watching the water rise with a careful eye.

They say spots along the river are always the most popular, but about 130 of those sites are unavailable this weekend and won’t be open anytime soon.

“We do have sites that probably will be wet for awhile, but we watch the river graphs, seeing the water go down and probably in about a month, they should be okay,” said camp host Sue Lachman.

La Crosse County Emergency Management officials say Pettibone campground has already been hit so hard with flooding that they had to shut down for the weekend.

With the river expected to crest later this week, officials say others along the river may want to start thinking ahead.

“I think if you live along the river, you’ve already noticed it’s higher than what we anticipated, we expect maybe another half or foot or so. If we get over 13 and a half feet, we’re going to start thinking about what we’re going to have to do for protective measures,” said La Crosse Co. Emergency Management Coordinator Keith Butler.

Boaters should also be aware of the high water this weekend. Since river levels are above 10 feet, no wake rules will be in effect.