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Archive for Saturday, May 29, 1999

MIDWEST GEARS UP FOR HOLIDAY

May 29, 1999

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The campgrounds are filling up and the weekend looks dry, at least until Sunday night.

Kansans by the thousands poured out of the cities Friday for the Memorial Day weekend.

The campgrounds were filling up, and the weather was fine. Highways were busy as millions of Midwesterners took to the road, dodging construction zones.

"It looks like we're going to have a real busy weekend, higher than normal," said Dave Rhoades, the park manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Clinton Lake.

That includes higher water and more people. The lake is about 6 th and Massachusetts.

-- To submit items for consideration in Datebook, call 832-7148, or write to Datebook, P.O. Box 888, Lawrence 66044. Datebook's e-mail address is datebook@ljworld.com.

said, but the water is causing a few problems. The campgrounds were quickly filling up Friday.

"Our main campgrounds in Bloomington are pretty much full for the weekend," Rhoades said.

There are still a few sites at the more primitive campgrounds, Rockhaven Park and Woodridge Park, he said, and at the Clinton State Park campgrounds.

Perry Lake was busy Friday night, as well. At the state park, workers said there were only a few spots left and that people heading for the lake should call ahead for availability.

"The reason for it is the nice weather," Rhoades said.

But not all weekend.

"A good part of the weekend looks like it'll be dry," said Scott Whitmore with the National Weather Service in Topeka. But Sunday evening, the skies may start to threaten.

"There is some potential for significant rainfall at that time," he said. The chance of rain runs through Monday, possibly into Tuesday.

The humidity will be creeping up over the weekend, too.

"The overnight lows aren't going to drop as much and it's going to get muggier during the day," he said.

On the highways, 5.7 million people in the Midwest will be driving somewhere according to AAA Kansas.

"The Memorial Day Weekend really is the kickoff for the travel season for the summer," Lori Haskett, coordinator of public affairs for AAA Kansas, said. "There will be a lot of family travel."

Those families will get to contend with road construction across the state.

"Give yourself a few extra minutes wherever you're traveling," Kim Athon, a Kansas Department of Transportation spokesperson, said.

"There is construction throughout the state, and we want to remind people of that," she said. To check where construction is affecting travel, call (800) 585-ROAD.

"Our road condition hotline has a pretty good gathering of construction that's affecting traffic," she said.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is fhaynes@ljworld.com.

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