Roaring River floods park

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Roaring River State Park staff members are assessing widespread damage to campgrounds and fishing areas after the trout stream rose and submerged a large portion of the park on Monday.

"We had extremely high water," said Dusty Reid, park superintendent. "The river got out of its banks and stayed out for approximately 24 hours."

Although the rainy forecast kept many campers away from Roaring River on Easter weekend, park staff members were forced to evacuate a few campers on Sunday and Monday.

"We evacuated campground #2 Sunday afternoon," said Reid. "Then we evacuated campground #1 at around 4:30 a.m. yesterday (Monday) morning. We had no personal property damage or injuries. We got everyone out safely before the water rose."

There was major damage to the roadway near the bridge located in front of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Lodge. Reid said the road would remain closed until repairs can be made to the area.

"Around 90 percent of the campgrounds are littered with heavy debris," said Reid. "Two campsite asphalt pads were washed away completely, the road in campground #3 is damaged and the fence around the pool was knocked down."

Reid said all the campgrounds will be closed until at least Friday morning. After park staff members assess damages, it will be decided which campsites will be opened. Other campsites will remain closed for another week or two until repairs are made.

"Park staff members stayed in the park closing roads as necessary," said Reid. "The staff stayed to make sure everyone got out safely."

At one point on Monday, the water rose nearly to the park office. Reid and park campground hosts were stranded in the office for around four hours until the waters receded.

"We moved everything off the office floor, because the water was getting so close to the office," said Reid. "We also had to close the Highway 112 bridge for around an hour and half yesterday (Monday), because Dry Hollow was running over the bridge."

Park staff members began cleanup efforts after the river went down on Monday.

"We started yesterday," said Reid, "but then the water began to rise again, and we went back into public safety mode until Tuesday morning."

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