April Reopening Eyed for Flooded Campground

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February 20, 2012 by   - () Leave a Comment

The levees and floodwaters in South Sioux City, Neb., have been gone for months, but the cleanup continues, KTIV-TV, Sioux City, Iowa, reported.

Last summer, floodwaters inundated many parts of the city including over 80 percent of the campground near Scenic Park.

The warm winter weather has allowed the city to continue cleanup efforts putting them ahead of schedule.

Much of the work involves sand removal.

That sand is being stockpiled for future road projects.

Another part of the project is replacing all of the trees that lined the shore which were killed in the flood.

More than 100 trees have been donated and planting will begin in the spring.

"I think we're doing excellent. It's not just action by the city council, but its action by the whole community. People are just committed to seeing this town no only recover but when we recover actually look better in the future than we have in the past" said Lance Hedquist, South Sioux City administrator.

Hedquist says that the city estimated the cleanup would cost around $7 million.

So far, they have spent $2 million in cleanup.

Camp host Sue Brown and many other campers faced a summer of unknowns after floods forced them out of Scenic Park last year.

"Nobody really knew where they were going or what they were going to do. We didn't know what this might result in if this was just going to be a temporary thing, if it was a permanent thing," said Sue Brown, camp host.

But when they returned the scene at Scenic Park was not so scenic.

Tons of sand were deposited, trees were dead and structures damaged.

"It was so sad. It was like a war zone. It's something like it shouldn't happen to you. It's something you'd seen on TV," said Brown.

Crews have been working hard to repair, renovate, and restore the campgrounds.

Even campers have been willing to donate their time.

"We've had an offer from one that would like to put together a group and actually come here and do a volunteer day. Just things like that to help us get put back together because people really like this campground," said Gene Maffit, Parks Director.

The mild winter also helped.

"I think everything is pretty well ahead of schedule. We've moved a lot of sand and that was our biggest problem. We took out a lot of trees we still got a lot of trees that'll probably have to go," said Maffit.

"Well we still got a long ways to go on the soccer fields themselves. We're hoping this spring and summer we'll be able to get a lot of that work done too," said Maffit.

So while the soccer fields will be under repair for at least a year, Sue Brown and her campers are glad to have a place to enjoy the great outdoors.

"I'm excited for a new year to start. We're going to stay positive, try to plan fun things and make everybody happy," said Brown.

Maffit says that they are shooting for an April 1 campground opening.

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