Drought drying up business

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Tue, August 19 2014 at 6:07 PM, Updated: Tue, August 19 2014 at 6:30 PM

Ashland, Ore. -- The view at Howard Prairie this time of the year is unusual. Docks are beached in the grass and the marina sits in mud. Much different than last year, when the lake was busy with boaters.

Jackson County Parks and Recreation say they're seeing some of the lowest lake levels in more than a decade. Howard Prairie Resort south of Ashland is one of the emptiest.

The drought has left the lake 26 feet below full pool. Jackson Co. Parks and Rec Park Program Manager, Steve Lambert, said the low water levels are taking a toll on business.

"Things have really slowed down around Howard Prairie for reservations and camping," Lambert said.

The resort only opened two of their four boat ramps this year. Now all four of the boat ramps are closed for the season.

But Lambert said they planned for the slow business.

"We didn't staff up to the level we used to, we didn't staff up with temporary or extra help employees," Lambert said.

Two permanent park ranger positions were left vacant as well to help offset some of the loss of revenue.

But one camper Franny Toves said the lack of water isn't affecting her family camping trip.

"It was a little low, but we kind of figured it would be so we brought some stuff to do playing cards and riding bikes," Toves said.

Lambert said he doesn't know how the slow season will affect the next. Now, the're just hoping for a snowy winter.

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About the Author

Kassi Nelson

NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.

She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.

She loves skiing and live concerts!

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