Flooding Takes Toll on Saylorville Lake Businesses and Boaters

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IOWA  --  More rain in the forecast means more water will move into Saylorville Lake, and that means even fewer boaters, beachgoers, and campers.

At lunchtime on a sunny Friday, Latitude 41 Bar and Grill at Saylorville Lake Marina in Polk City was empty. All the rain and flooding has devastated business.

"Memorial Day weekend was great and then with the rain in June through the fourth of July, it really killed business."

"The lake went up 50 feet, basically over three weeks or so. It flooded out the boat ramps, all the boat ramps were closed on the lake. For the marina here, we lost over 85% of our parking spaces went under water, so then that essentially closed our ramp down," said Saylorville Lake Marina Manager Mike Slatterly.

"It's really impacted a lot on business just due to places to park and with all the ramps closed, boats can't get in," said Latitude 41 co-owner Lisa Lepley. "It has had quite a bit of an effect on us and now that we do have some parking, but people have had a frustrating time finding parking, so it's kind of like, well why should we go out if we can't park."

The conditions have been frustrating for boat owners like David Pollard, who can't find open ramps. However, he says people living in Iowa have to learn to roll with these situations.

"It's frustrating, but that's just part of being a boat owner," he said. "It's great when you can get out on the water with your family, and when it's in the garage it's frustrating. That's just life."

Marina officials say all they can do is hope for good weather and that the lake levels go down.

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