BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. -- After months of clean-up, Lakeside Campsite in Bryan County is finally open to the public. Officials hope this is the first of many to re-open and kicks off a trend bringing business back to local communities.
"We were thrilled to death that Lakeside was going to open again this year." Durant chamber president Janet Reed says.
Norma Bodeman and her husband head south every winter from Nebraska and make their way to Bryan County and the Lakeside Campground, but they were afraid this year they would have to make some changes.
"We had heard earlier that they weren't going to open it, so we started looking elsewhere."
But when they heard the gates had been opened after this year’s flooding, they came rushing back, and local officials hope everyone does the same even if December is a couple of weeks away.
Durant chamber president Janet Reed says due to the summer’s floods, the city’s sales tax revenue dropped by four percent, so more traffic means more money.
"Our retail merchants have a lot of the traffic from tourists that come up and do shopping. We are the gateway to Lake Texoma, so it does affect our merchants."
Earlier this year lakeside was underwater, and thanks to the help of the cleanup efforts it’s back on the right track.
Other popular campsites like East and West Burns Run are still closed but Army Corps of Engineers officials, along with Durant Chamber members, hope their efforts at lakeside can be duplicated elsewhere.