Overhyped? Calif. Parks Weather ‘Hilary’ With Minor Damage – RVBusiness – Breaking RV Industry News

Damage at Sky Valley Resort in Desert Springs, Calif., included downed trees. (Photo: Seth Harper)

Damage at Sky Valley Resort in Desert Springs, Calif., included downed trees. (Photo: Seth Harper)

Tropical Storm Hilary left many flooded roads and downed trees across parts of California and Nevada, but most campgrounds and RV park operators said they fared very well during the storm, which many felt was a bit overhyped by the news media.

The most dramatic RV park storm photos were provided by Seth Harper, of Sky Valley Resort in Desert Hot Springs, in California’s Coachella Valley, which forecasters feared would face the brunt of the storm.

Strong winds topped several trees at Sky Valley Resort, but fortunately, the storm did not cause significant damage, Harper said, other than a “lot of branches broken” and “a lot of sand on the road.” Neighboring desert washes also had “significant debris from the water (flowing) through them,” he said.

Emerald Desert RV Resort in neighboring Palm Desert experienced some flooding in its dog park and its swimming pool overflowed, “but the team cleaned it up fast and (it) will reopen today (Aug. 23),” said James T. Lim, senior vice president of SunLand RV Resorts, which owns the park. All sites are available for rent, including the park’s villas.

The bigger news in the Coachella Valley was the temporary closure of Interstate 10 in both directions due to flooding and numerous reports of local street flooding in cities across the valley, whose roads and street drainage systems are not engineered to handle fast, heavy rainfall. Portions of the city of Cathedral City were particularly hard hit by flooding.

Dyana Kelley, president and CEO of the California Outdoor Hospitality Association (COHA), said she was not aware of any parks suffering significant damage as a result of Hilary.

“We’ve called all over the desert, the Inland Empire, San Diego. There was a little flooding, but nobody has had anything that’s been an issue,” she said.

Nanette Bell, whose family owns and operates three Southern California Kampgrounds of America parks in Chula Vista, Desert Hot Springs and Temecula, said her parks got through the storm OK.

“We were lucky that the storm aftermath was milder than many of the news outlets showed. We are glad to be open to welcome guests at all of our Southern California KOAs, she said.

Scott Cory, who owns and operates the Ventura Ranch KOA in Santa Paula, Calif., which is about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles, said he had to contend not only with the remnants of Hilary, but a 5.3 earthquake on Sunday, but his park fared well with both events.

“The earthquake on Sunday, with its epicenter just a few miles from the campground, registered 5.3 (and) knocked items off the store shelves, but that was about all. Some out-of-state guests staying in a Deluxe Cabin were frightened by the quake and told the front desk, ‘If this was going to happen again they need to leave immediately.’  Calmly, our team said that ‘Everything shall be fine now,’ and the guest stayed an extra day,” Cory explained.

In terms of Hilary, the campground received between four and five inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

Sky Valley 3

Sky Valley Resort is cleaning up after Hurricane Hilary left minor damage. (Photo: Seth Harper)

“The river flow adjacent to the campground increased dramatically and did show an abundance of mud in its wake.  (But there were) no downed trees, no flooding in RV, cabin or safari tent sites, (and) only a few flooded tent sites.  We were lucky that we did not have any high winds,” Cory said, noting, “The campground survived the storm in good order.”

Xenique McLeod, public relations manager for KOA in Billings, Mont., said she was not aware of any storm damage at KOA locations as a result of Hilary.

Scott Foos, CEO and partner of Horizon Outdoor Hospitality, said the parks his company manages out west got through Hilary without any significant problems.

“Our managed properties in the vicinity of the storm’s path all fared relatively well,” he said.

Joshua Tree RV and Campground in Joshua Tree, Calif., and Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield, Calif., both experienced “heavy wind and rain with a few short losses of power, but are otherwise fine with lots of cleanup and fully operational,” Foos said.

Las Vegas RV Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., for its part, “experienced light wind overnight Sunday into Monday, but (was) otherwise enjoying a clear 80-degree day,” Foos said.

Source: https://rvbusiness.com/overhyped-calif-parks-weather-hilary-with-minor-damage/