Camp Harlow's owners try to recover after James River's record flood

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GALENA, Mo. (KSPR) - The James River here was almost four feet above flood stage on Sunday afternoon. It was still about a foot over flood stage on Friday. As it goes down, some people who live and work in Galena are finally seeing what is left of homes and businesses.

The owners of Camp Harlow are assessing what is left of their business and home. Their family's mattresses, cabinets, and refrigerators are all ruined. After this flood, they will have to start over for a second time. Their camp provides canoe and kayak rentals, lodging and camping facilities, and fishing opportunities.

"It's really sad. We put in a lot of work into making it nice and it's just gone and you have to start all over. It's really sad," said Camp Harlow co-owner Pam Harlow.

Bare bones are all that is left of the Harlows' home.

"This was my laundry room. This was my kitchen, which there is a little left here. Everything is all gone. There is nothing left to save," she said.

The James River even moved the Harlows' shed. As floodwaters recede, workers are stripping away a now ruined interior.

"They have helped us squeeze out the mud, tear down all the walls, and they've brought us meals and they've offered to do our laundry and a place to stay," Harlow said.

They are all helping the Harlow family free of charge.

"When people need help, it's what humans are supposed to do, right Tommy?" said volunteer James Garner.

"That's right," responded volunteer Tom Crabtree.

"We know for a fact they'd come do the same thing for us," Garner said.

Some workers met the Harlows at church; others know them from fishing at Camp Harlow.

They all know they are doing what's right, "in our hearts," Crabtree said.

Their hard work is encouraging Harlow and her family, who lost too much.

"God brought us here for some reason. We know we're here for a reason and until we feel confident that has been fulfilled we will stay with it," Harlow said.

The Harlow family hoped they would soon open for the summer season. Instead they are left wondering how they can afford to fix this.
It took them a little less than a year and a half after the last flood in 2015 to fix this. They do not know how long it will take this time.

The Harlow family still does not know the state of their campgrounds. The water was still covering it on Friday, preventing them from seeing how much has been damaged.