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October 01, 2011 10:40 PM

Dakota Dunes Returning To Normal


It may be months later than residents initially expected their lives would get back to normal, but with the Dakota Dunes Country Club opening up this weekend, it's one more step back to familiarity.

"This whole community was displaced all summer and people are pretty tight knit, they like to visit with one another and of course the club house, this is the focal point where everyone congregates," Food and Beverage Director Jim Tieck said.

Dakota Dunes resident and Country Club Golf Professional Justin Arlet says the summer was especially trying. Not only was he worried about his home, he was worried about his job.

"With having to move out and find temporary living and also as the golf professional out here with the Country Club, we had to shut down, but I was fortunate enough to be kept on and continue with different tasks and duties here at the club even though we were closed," Arlet said.

Residents started moving back to Dakota Dunes in mid-September. But, with businesses like the country club starting up again, it's starting to feel more like home.

"Four months later, everybody's thankful, thankful to be home, have some normalcy, get things back to what we're used to," Arlet said. 

As for the golf course, it will remain closed for this year, but Tieck says they plan to have 14 to 16 of the holes open by next spring, while crews start to repair a couple of the holes that were damaged and underwater this summer due to the flooding.

"Sometime next spring, maybe late fall for the last couple holes, but everything else will be ready to go," Tieck said.

During the summer, the club was used as a staging area for National Guard members patrolling the levees. But now it's a place where residents can reflect and move forward.

"It's a big relief for everybody in the community, just it's been a long wait, we've had to be patient but it's an exciting time to get back and see your neighbors see your friends," Arlet said.
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