By JON REITER
Floodwaters from the Ohio River and Beargrass Creek, specifically, overrun many Metro Parks each year. And flooding does billions in dollars in property damage and causes loss of life in virtually every country on the globe. So the power of flooding is no laughing matter.
But sometimes after the waters fade away and recede, some odd things are found in our properties.
Assistant Director Marty Storch recalled a time when receding floodwaters left behind a mess of fish through Shawnee Golf Course, which is located along the Ohio River.
“We had so many fish left after a flood in Shawnee one year and were hosting a big golf tournament with no chance of picking them all up before the event,” Storch recalled. “We had to add a rule and make them obstructions and give players free relief without having to pick up the fish and move them.”
Storch also said that during the 1997 flood, officials put a boat in above the 18 green at Shawnee to survey the course, which was totally underwater. As the waters began to recede, a thick layer of mud was left behind on most of the elevated greens as the rest of the course was underwater. The maintenance staff were forced to turn on their irrigation system in order to keep the mud damp so as it dried out it didn’t destroy the greens. “It was a funny sight seeing irrigation running and the rest of the course under water,” Storch said.
Park Supervisor Lisa Risen, whose district includes Iroquois Park, says she’s found cars, appliances, washers, dryers, and the worst thing of all – medical waste.
“A few years ago, we found a storage building and a boat trailer with the boat still on it,” she said. “I’m sure the owner was missing it as high as the water was.”
The unfortunate mess that is left behind when floodwaters do recede, however, is mostly litter – man-made messes that are preventable and exposed when the water rises and falls.