Cleaning Up Sioux Falls Parks From Floodwater Damage


Like many locations across KELOLAND, floodwaters have hit Sioux Falls parks hard.

“This is quite a bit different than our historical flooding that we get from time to time throughout a given summer, and that largely was due to the ice floes that we also had in addition to the large, heavy, major flood stage that we had, and so as a result of that, we’ve got quite a bit of broken equipment in our parks, we’ve got significant woody debris that’s throughout the parks,” said Don Kearney, director of parks and recreation with the City of Sioux Falls.

Kearney says cleanup has started.

“We’re working on a damage assessment throughout the entire park system and identifying what needs to be done, and as the water recedes, we’ve been going out and starting to clean up where we can,” Kearney said.

But that’s not everywhere.

“Unfortunately, we still have quite a few areas where we have ice sheets that are still on top of the trails, and we’ve got high water levels yet that have yet to recede to really allow our team to be able to get access to them,” Kearney said.

Dakota Alliance Soccer Club uses the parks a lot.

“First and foremost, when it comes to the youth sports, it’s a first-world problem,” said Frank Gurnick, director of coaching with Dakota Alliance Soccer Club. “Parks can be replaced, they can be rehabbed. I’m more concerned with the families in the membership, how are people who are struggling with potentially having lost a house, or having lost lots of possessions.”

Tuesday, he’ll have an opportunity to see Yankton Trail, Spencer and Tomar Parks.

“Tomar Park itself I think will be the one that’s hardest hit, and is going to be the one that will be very much a concern for us,” Gurnick said.

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