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Backwater Gamblers take a hit financially because of flooded river

Flooding issues have hit the Quad Cities four times, and as river levels fall again, a Quad Cities tradition is working to simply stay afloat going forward.

Stands that are usually full with people are empty.  The Backwater Gamblers are facing an uphill battle.

“It’s really tough to keep a positive attitude during this time,” says Backwater Gamblers skier Michael Becker, who is counting down the days until he can be back on the water.

“We want to be skiing so bad,” said Becker.

The show’s co-director, Tagen Tipton, says the flooded river has forced the team to put a halt on their shows.

“Even in the times we’ve gotten to ski, the weather hasn’t been great.  It’s been pretty chilly. It’s a little harder to get crowds out to see us when it’s cold,” Tipton said.

Tipton also says it’s putting a financial burden on the not for profit organization.

“When we don’t get to have shows we lose out on most of our revenue because we rely a lot on the public’s donations during our shows,” he said.

That money goes towards paying for things like equipment, gas and costumes.

Becker says when it comes to practicing safety is priority number one.

“The current starts getting faster, so we have to take safety precautions,” Becker said.

Practices have been cut down, Becker says, and sometimes they have to practice on land.

“It’s kind of really important we can get some water time, before we have to ski in our tournament, so we can kind of get our skiing legs back under us,” Becker said.

While the team can’t always count on Mother Nature, Becker says he hopes it will be the opposite for their fans.

“I think the public really wants to get out here just as much as we want to ski for them, they want to come see us.”

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