Outfitters struggle to recover from floods

Missouri experienced historic flooding in the last few days of April, with water sweeping away several cabins, businesses, beach shores, and affecting several campgrounds and outfitters all around the state.

Eleven Point Canoe Rental, Shady Lane Cabins, Bearcat Getaway, and Lay Z Day Canoe are among several campgrounds that sustained damage the weekend of the flood.

Eleven Point Canoe Rental, owned by Brian Sloss, is located in Alton, and according to Sloss, it was the biggest flood he has ever had at the campground. 

“Our big advantage is that we don’t have much shoreline, so we didn’t have near as much damage as some of our neighbors,” said Sloss.

There was tree damage and the river accesses had damage, but they were able to get two river access points operating before the Memorial Day weekend.

“We were shut down for three weeks after the flood hit, and we are a small outfitter so we don’t have as big of a margin when we have to shut down,” said Sloss.

Eleven Point Canoe lost quite a bit of money in the three weeks they were closed, Sloss said, and they were struggling to get everything repaired and pay their normal monthly bills.

“It’s been hard, and it’s very stressful when you’re shut down because you aren’t making any money, but most of our bills come due in May and April and everyone still wants your money,” said Sloss.

Eleven Point Canoe was able to re-open the weekend before Memorial Day, though the water on the Eleven Point River remained a little high.

“The water is a little swifter than normal, but it’s getting better and better every day and it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone wanting to float,” said Sloss.

According to Sloss, the river should be back to 100 percent by the first of June.

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