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State Park Cleaning Up After Flooding, Again

August 4, 2011, 5:13 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

State Park Cleaning Up After Flooding, Again
FRANKFORT, SD - For the third year in a row, Fisher Grove State Park near Redfield as been badgered by spring flooding. And the situation has only gotten worse.

The park has flooded three times this year alone. And management is still waiting for some of the latest round of floodwater to recede.

With a road closed sign sitting in front of a flooded bridge, there's still no access to the campground at Fisher Grove. 

Chuck Halbert: We've been open over there for one week this year.
Erich Schaffhauser: All summer?
Halbert: All summer long, it's really been something.

It’s been something new park manager Chuck Halbert would like to see end. When he arrived here earlier this year, his welcome to South Dakota was sandbagging around his home. And it’s hardly slowed since.

The park's golf course is open and for the most part has stayed above water. It's in good condition aside from the ninth green being under.

But the road leading to the manager's home and the club house just recently surfaced. So a bus parked by the road served as the country club for a while.

"Quite an experience.  We've been able to drive to our house over here about four weeks, five weeks out of six months," Halbert said.

The park is taking proactive steps as the water recedes again. Halbert has designed and is building a ninth green to the golf course on higher ground to keep it dry even during a flood.

And as debris sits waiting to be cleared, he's preparing to clean up one more time as soon as the James River drops low enough to allow it.

"We're going to have to do a good job again," Halbert said.

Halbert hopes the park can house campers again within two to three weeks. Of course, that depends whether there's another flood at the park.

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