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Hurricane Jeanne, Florida’s fourth hurricane in six weeks, left another trail of destruction this weekend before heading north through Georgia and the Carolinas as a tropical storm.
Jeanne struck the Atlantic Coast near Stuart, Fla., early Saturday as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph-hour winds. Efforts to reach campgrounds near the eye of the storm were unsuccessful Monday (Sept. 27) morning, although some RV dealers in the Stuart area reported wind and water damage, including overturned trailers and flooding.
Although it was too soon to fully assess Jeanne’s impact on Florida campgrounds and RV dealerships, a clearer picture has emerged regarding the effects of Hurricane Ivan.
Ivan davastated areas in Pensacola, Fla., and Mobile, Ala., where it came ashore, then cut a destructive path up the East Coast, damaging nearly 40 campgrounds in New York and Pennsylvania as it evolved from a Category 4 hurricane to a tropical storm in mid-September.
“We probably have 30 to 35 campgrounds that were flooded,” said Beverly Gruber, executive secretary of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association.
The Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Northumber, Pa., next to the Susquehanna River, apparently faced some of the worst flooding.
“It is currently under 20 feet of water – a total loss,” Dean Crawford, vice president of Leisure Systems Inc., said in a Sept. 20 e-mail message to RVBusiness.com.
Also hard hit was Ferryboat Campsites, a 300-site park in Liverpool, Pa.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Kendi Brookhart, a campground office assistant. “The whole campground was under water.”
And even though floodwaters had receded and allowed the campground to reopen, the ground was so saturated on Saturday that some RVers had difficulty entering the park. “A lot of people can’t come in because the ground is so moist they sink,” Brookhart said.
Severe flooding also took place in the Catskill Mountains region. Red Barn Campground in Hankins, N.Y., lost 39 seasonal trailers as well as nearly 60 picnic tables and fire rings, said Bob Klos, executive director of Campground Owners of New York (CONY).
Four- to 5-foot deep floodwaters were reported at Upper Delaware Campground in Callicoon, N.Y., he said.
“They didn’t lose RVs, but they had water throughout,” Klos said. “They lost nine automobiles.”