LANESBORO, Minn. (AP) -- Persistent high water has done more than soak basements in this southeastern Minnesota community on the Root River. Flooding has dampened the short summer tourism season.
''The floods are scaring people away,'' said Joe Rodgers, park superintendent of Lanesboro. ''It seems like we just get things squared away and we get another series of floods. It's been a down year for everyone.''
Rodgers said business in municipal campgrounds is down 33 percent from last year, and campgrounds and canoe rental shops have been hit hard.
Anthony Schwartz, who works at Root River Outfitters, said canoe rentals this summer are substantially lower than previous years.
''There haven't been many weekends when we've been able to rent out,'' Schwartz said.
The Hidden Valley campground, on the shores of the Root River in Preston, also is having a difficult time this summer.
Stef Bestor, a co-owner of the campground, said it was flooded last week and the business is completely shut down.
''We'll be closed a total of six weeks over the summer,'' Bestor said. Owners had planned to construct a central building this summer but can't afford it now because of expenses related to flooding.
The campground was booked solid with reservations from people planning to attend the upcoming Fillmore County Fair, but Bestor said they had to be canceled. The beach area was ruined and won't be open until next year, Bestor said.
Diana Capron, owner of Capron Hardware in downtown Lanesboro, said business in the past week has been slow. Her store rents bicycles and fishing supplies.
''We saw a big drop in fish licenses and fishing sales,'' Capron said.
Although bike rentals have dropped, the DNR has been able to get the trails in good shape quickly, Capron said.
''A lot of people perceive there must be more flooding than we had,'' she said.
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