by: Jacob Blount and Ivie Macy, Ozarks First
People in the Forsyth community are frustrated with local parks and campsites being flooded due to the recent rain and nearby lakes.
“The campgrounds in recent years on a good year there hadn’t been two or three floods in a row,” said Chris Robertson, a city administrator of Forsyth. “I mean, we might experience $35,000 in camping revenue. Obviously, that’s lost.”
Robertson said flooding from Bull Shoals Lake has increased through the last several years.
“Sometime between 2005 and 2010, Liberty Utilities, which was Empire Electric, and the Corps of Engineers made a deal to raise the flood pool five-foot,” said Robertson. “That’s when it started flooding more often. It was once every five to seven years. Now it seems to be every year, every other year.”
Owen Smith, a Forsyth resident, said its not uncommon for Beaver Creek Campground to be flooded.
“I mean, it’s always been flooded as long as I’ve been here, and I’m almost 19 years old now,” said Smith.
Flooding also happens throughout Shadow Rock Park, making it unusable during the summertime for residents.
“It’s upsetting to them that they’re not able to enjoy the park,” said Robertson. “A lot of them had moved here to enjoy the park, and it’s part of the reason they moved.”
These areas are flood zones for Bull Shoals Lake, and the only way to stop this is to change the amount of water Bull Shoals can hold. Making this change would require changing the law.