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Dry river, dry wallets for tubing business

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RED LAKE FALLS, Minn.  - A summer hot spot has been reduced to a trickle.

Water on the Red Lake River is at its lowest point in years.

"Right now it's just, there is none,” said Jason Brumwell, with Voyageur's View Campground.

The dam isn't releasing any more water this summer, leaving the campground’s tubing business stranded.  

"Our busiest enterprise is the tubing. Any given weekend we could put down a thousand, 1,500 people down the river,” said Brumwell.

This year tubing season was short, just three weeks in June.

The only other season that was worse - was 2013.

"If they draw down their water even further then we're going to be looking at a multiyear drought,” said Brumwell.

Brumwell won't say how much this hurts financially for them.

The dry river means dry wallets for employees. More than two dozen were laid off.

The effects of the dryspell can be felt across county lines.

The Army Corps of Engineers controls the water supply.

Yards are drying up along with tourism numbers.

"It's not just Red Lake Falls it's Thief River Falls our whole surrounding area. Without the river our whole Canadian traffic is significantly down,” said Brumwell.

Voyageur's View plans to open a wedding venue this fall in order to bring more people to the area.

"It's Mother Nature. It's beyond our control,” said Brumwell.

As the season officially draws to a close in a few weeks, they’re hoping for some million dollar rains.

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