Campgrounds along the Susquehanna River ordered the evacuation of campers and their gear as the river approaches its expected crest Thursday.

Officials at Nikomahs Campground outside of Sunbury called for the mandatory evacuation of all individuals and their campers and RVs as soon as possible due to expected high water levels. According to their Facebook page, campers were relocated to the parking lot along Fourth Street in Sunbury behind Dunkin Donuts.

Forrest Curran, president of Nikomahs Campground, hoped to have everyone off site by the end of the day Tuesday. "The lower part of the camp gets flooded at 19 feet, the upper part gets it at 23 feet," Curran said. “It hurts the season. When you’re camping on the river, you have to deal with Mother Nature, she’s not always kind.”

According to the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, the Susquehanna River is expected to crest at 24.2 feet in Sunbury on Thursday afternoon.

Ross Mullin arrived at Nikomahs from Pottsville around 11 a.m. Tuesday to move his camper. He said it took him nearly an hour and a half to get ready to move, but didn't mind the inconvenience.

“What’s there to be nervous about? It only happens a few times in a lifetime," he said. "Will the water come up this high? I doubt it. As long as weather permits, we’ll be back.”

At Splash Magic, across the North Branch in Northumberland, half of the park was under evacuation order according to office worker Kayln Herman. "We have some people calling scared, not sure what to do," she said. "We just want everyone to be safe."

Curran and Herman both said they probably had 100 campers currently at each park.

At Fantasy Island Campground on Packer Island, Jason Arner said they were moving riverfront campers back from the water's edge, but had not ordered a full evacuation as of Tuesday afternoon.

"We are playing it by ear, but the rest of the campground should be OK," Arner said, noting they pulled boats and docks out of the water on Monday.

Along the West Branch, Donna Steenstra at River Edge RV Camp & Marina in Winfield, said they were also moving some campers away from the river. She had been in contact with Union County emergency officials and plans to remain in contact with them until waters begin to recede. The NWS expects the river to crest at 18.6 feet in Lewisburg early Thursday morning.

According to its Facebook page, organizers of Boy Scout camp Camp Karoondinha in Millmont are pushing back the start of events this week. The camp is not flooded, but organizers said the forecast is expected to improve Thursday.

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