Valley Drought 2014: Huntington Lake Severely Low, Businesses Ne - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Valley Drought 2014: Huntington Lake Severely Low, Businesses Need Help

Valley Drought 2014: Huntington Lake Severely Low, Businesses Need Help

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Huntington Lake - Right now a group of Huntington Lake business owners are trying to come up with ways to bring in business.

The dry winter has Huntington Lake at the lowest point, local say, they have ever seen.

Parts of the lake are so dry; rocks and even the very bottom is visible.

"This is our third or fourth year now of some kind of irritation. Last year, we had fires, the year before no snow and now this, then that, then closing of camp grounds ... goes on and on," said Stephen Sherry, owner of the "Lakeshore Resort."

Sherry says he expects spring to be slow, but not as slow as it has been.

"This is the first time in my 27-years that we have had to lay people off. We went from 20 people in the wintertime to two part-timers. So, it's definitely different. Usually in the summer we are up to 55 people, this year were looking at 15," said Sherry.

The lake is lowered every year to make room for the run off, but with the severe drought this year, there has been no water to supplement the low levels.

The annual Regatta races, which bring in people and business, were canceled due to the low levels.

Local businesses show "open" and "vacancy" signs but have hardly any customers.

"It's heartbreaking. Huntington is going to be around forever. It's been here for a hundred years. It's going to continue to stay, we just need to get everyone to come together and make it all work for everybody," said Mike Bodine, manager of "4 wheel parts."

Locals say they are not going to allow the drought affect their morale or their businesses.

They're organizing a calendar full of events to bring in the summer crowd early, before it's too late.

They have even turned to social media to spread the word.

"This may never happen again because the lake will never be like this again…hopefully," said Sherry.

The events include a lakeshore rock crawl, sand castle contest, kite flying and even a possible small boat regatta race.

For more information, visit LakeShoreResort.com.
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