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FLOOD RECOVERY: Camp Kernville makes improvements after devastating floods

Camp Kernville is a campground in Kernville that suffered immense damage after the Kern River reached flows of 45,000 CFS last March
Posted at 6:51 PM, Mar 11, 2024

KERNVILLE, Calif. (KERO) — Camp Kernville is a campground in Kernville that suffered immense damage after the Kern River reached flows of 45,000 CFS last March.

  • Video shows footage of last years floods on March 10th, juxtaposed with the same areas as of March 11 2024.
  • Camp Kernville is a campground that suffered major damage during last years floods in Kernville. However, the general manager decided to improve the grounds as they continue to build them back.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:
Most of Riverside Park in Kernville was underwater roughly a year ago when flows of the North Fork of the Kern RIver reached a fifty year high.

Residents may have been spooked, but most of them were able to move on after gawking at the level of the river.

However, certain businesses in Kernville will be dealing with the impacts of these floods for years.

“It was beyond devastating, it’s hard to see something that your family has worked to build for a very long time be completely destroyed within a few hours.” said Jennifer Hendricks the General Manager of Camp Kernville.

Camp Kernville, has been run by Hendrick’s family for almost forty years.

During last year's flooding, it was almost entirely underwater. Hendricks estimates the damage to the property cost them –

“Hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

On March 11 of this year, flows on the North Fork of the Kern River were about 850 cubic feet per second (CFS). Last year, flows went up to 45,000 CFS on March 10th, washing away infrastructure from Camp Kernville and depositing mud and debris on the grounds.

“Our small restroom here probably had four or five feet of sediment within the actual bathroom,” Hendricks recalled,

Restoring the grounds was an immense task.

“I want to say that we brought in a hundred and sixty truckloads of dirt.”

They also brought in decomposed granite, determined to open the campground by May in order to honor reservations that had already been made.

“There was never a time where we thought we would be closed for the season.”

Her family worked hard to get the grounds ready.

“My dad is in his seventies and he worked everyday for sixty days straight.”

Hendricks said those in the community stepped up to volunteer and help the campground.

“The community support here is truly remarkable.”

Hendricks says it will take years to recoup the money spent on fixing the grounds, but is optimistic about the future of the campground – saying they were able to build it back even better than before.

“We’ve converted a portion of our park to more riverfront sites and we’re open for business, so we’re ready.”

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