Mother Nature couldn’t keep campers from finally posting up at Lake Grapevine this year.
On Tuesday, the Vineyard campground in Grapevine reopened their gates after record flooding shut the park down in May.
At its highest point, the water in the park rose to the top of the gatehouse at the front of the park and swallowed trees throughout.
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The water didn’t completely recede until mid-August and left crews at the campground with a major mess.
Grapevine Parks and Recreation Manager Kevin Mitchell said they lost one building entirely and suffered infrastructure and amenity damage throughout.
Camp store manager Junior Hall recalled returning to find five inches of water in his store, and forcing them to repair sheet rock and flooring.
As of Tuesday, crews were still working on some parts of the campground, but Mitchell said they’d been working non-stop since August and were able to replace utilities, remove structures too damaged to fix, and even begin upgrades to the park like city Wi-Fi and cable television hookups throughout.
“All the sites are open, everything’s operation, and it’s going to be a good weekend,” said Mitchell, “good Thanksgiving in Grapevine.”
Campers were lined up at the gate to get in when the afternoon arrived, some saying the first recreational vehicle arrived at 6:30 a.m.
Many like John Crawford planned to come out earlier in the year, but had to reschedule when the floods hit.
“We got a call three days before we were supposed to be here in May,” said Crawford, a five-year regular at the park. “Of course they called us up and canceled the booking because they were flooded.”
Mitchell said campers are so eager to get back in that the park is at capacity through the end of the year.
Those still wishing to book a spot can keep checking the city’s website to see if openings come up, Mitchell said.
As for the possibility of rain and freezing temperatures during their stay, Crawford and others said they weren’t too concerned. They’re just glad to be back.
“It’s our favorite,” he said.