For many of the local residents who have experienced flooding over the past week, the water is finally, thankfully receding, but that just means the hard work of cleaning up and trying to repair the damage starts.
It is no different for Case Community Park in Sand Springs, which had some sections still six or seven feet under water as recently as Friday. As the water levels go down, it becomes more apparent just how much damage was done, and for Case Community Park, the impact has been significant.
At this point, the park is closed until further notice, for at least a month or longer.
“There’s still several portions of the park under water, so we don’t know for sure,” said Sand Springs Parks Director Jeff Edwards. “We know that the one thing that is going to require a significant amount of work is going to be the electrical work to restore power to the park. There won’t be any power to the facilities, or any of the special event areas.”
The soccer fields at the park, utilized primarily by the Sand Springs Soccer Club and the West Side Alliance, are still flooded, as is the BMX track. The baseball and softball fields were also under water, and the softball chain-link outfield fence also sustaining damage from the water currents rushing through.
Sands Springs BMX has put out a call for donations (of both money and time) for the anticipated repairs to the track on their Facebook page.
“We have received a number of photos via drone camera and there is extensive damage to the physical structures and integrity of the BMX track,” said Dusty Smith, Treasurer of Sand Springs BMX. “We have events already scheduled for July that will bring racers and families from many neighboring states and we hope to begin the rebuilding process as soon as possible.”
Elsewhere, the synthetic turf surface at the park’s playground was torn up and needs to be replaced, while a concession building in the complex was also damaged.
“The newest concession building took on about three foot of water,” Edwards said. “The whole interior is obviously going to have to be water remediated, there’s silt and mud everywhere. And then some of the equipment that we just ran out of time evacuating (from) some of those areas is likely going to need to be replaced.”
As Edwards noted, the electrical problems will likely end up having the biggest negative impact.
“Any time any electrical panel or system goes completely underwater, we’ve been told that anything above ground is not water-rated, so it’ll all have to be completely replaced and rebuilt,” Edwards said. “The reality is, the electrical work is probably going to exceed competitive bidding requirements, meaning we’ll have to put it out for competitive bidding, and that’s a minimum of 30-45 days right there.”
And even as the playing fields continue to dry out, the park may look like it could be operational, but Edwards cautions that it will not re-open for awhile.
“Even though water has receded in a lot of the area, the park will remain closed,” he said. “There won’t be any pedestrian trail access, the splash pad’s going to remain closed, it won’t have power to it. The picnic areas are still under water right now, and sports activities, at least in the interim, have been at least postponed or canceled through the next several weeks, until further notice.
“We’re just going to have to see how much is damaged and get those inspections done from our city staff first, so they can document all the damage before we can go in and touch it. We’ll be doing that in the next couple of weeks. It’s fair to say, at minimum, a month the park will remain closed.”