BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — The Brandon Valley Hockey Association is doing its best to make sure September flooding won’t stop the puck from dropping for teams this season.
All Brandon hockey teams practice at an outdoor hockey rink located at McHardy Park. After heavy rains caused Split Rock Creek to flood, the hockey rink experienced extensive damage after being submerged by floodwater. Two of the locker rooms, full of equipment, washed away.
Since the flooding on Sept. 13, multiple fundraisers have been underway, including a Go Fund Me page for a new indoor rink in Brandon. In 2018, Kraft Hockeyville awarded Brandon $30,000 for upgrades after an online contest.
The closest indoor hockey rink for Brandon residents is roughly 20 minutes away at the Scheels IcePlex in Sioux Falls.
The Rushmore Youth Hockey Association in Rapid City also held a small fundraiser for the Brandon Hockey Association.
The hockey rink is just one of many parks, businesses and homes that was affected by flooding.
KELOLAND’s Whitney Fowkes is in Brandon Tuesday looking at some of the damage left behind and how the area is recovering.
“We won $30,000 to be used for rink upgrades and the NHLPA (National Hockey League Players’ Association) pitched in approximately $10,000 in equipment donations. All of which were in the locker rooms that went down the river. The $30,000 went towards the overall purchase of the chiller, which was also heavily damaged in the flood,” Brandon Valley Hockey marketing director, Sarah Rasmussen said.
The rink has faced flooding before and was able to sandbag around the area preventing subsequent damage. However, this latest flood caused catastrophic destruction.
“This flood came on too quickly. By the time it was realized that it would indeed be bigger than the Spring flooding, it was too late. We had to watch as our locker rooms were swept away, across the river. One went into the neighboring park and was stopped by a playground, the other was found by aerial drone, part way down the river. We were able to locate both once the waters receded and pull some of the equipment out,” Rasmussen said.
Players, families, friends, and the residents of Brandon Valley met the weekend directly after the flood for an open meeting to discuss possible options.
The chiller, players bench with scoreboard and penalty boxes, bleachers, locker rooms, equipment, parking lot, and potentially the Zamboni were all damaged in the flooding.