Cleanup begins at Smothers Park


More than a week after flooding at Smothers Park started, the clean up begins.

City workers removed tarps covering fountains, but it’s only the beginning.

As the flood water goes away, so do the sandbags and tarps protecting its fountains.

“I was really pleased. I was impressed with the way it dropped off,” says Tom Grimsley of Daviess County, who predicts it could be a while before the park returns to normal.

“Those things will take time. All it takes is another bunch of rain and everything goes right back to what it once was,” Grimsley says.

City Grounds Manager Adam Wright hopes to have the part closed since last month back to fully working by the end of this month. Workers need to inspect fountains for sand and other debris that may have gotten inside. He says water didn’t completely cover them, but may have fed through the bottom.

“It will cause cloggage, build up inside those, won’t let the water feed through properly, or the air on the vacuum system,” Wright says. “If that’s the case, we’ll go through and flush them repeatedly until we get it good and clean.”

It’s not just the stuff above the surface they’ll be looking at. Wright also says they’ll be looking at the ground and below the surface too for any structural problems.

“We haven’t seen any with our naked eye with our guys doing the work, but there’s the unseen we have to worry about. We do have engineering come in and take a look at it, let us know if there is any so we can correct that,” Wright says. He adds all surfaces will be cleaned to prevent contamination.

Veterans Boulevard between Frederica and St. Ann Streets is still closed as cleaning efforts continue.

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(This story was originally published on March 5, 2018)

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