It's hard to forget the spring floods of this year. Roads were washed out, businesses were flooded and some roads were so flooded that some schools had to close. The bridges were also a mess of tangled debris. The floods left downed trees and carried away some houses and boat docks. Farmers who had land near any type of water source, found tons of sand and debris in their fields. The floods also ruined parts of area natural parks that attract tourists from around the nation for their beauty.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that 80 percent of the parks around Norfork and Bull Shoals lakes will be back up and running by vacationing time next year. "It's been a very unusual year for weather," Public Affairs Officer P.J. Spaul of the Little Rock U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.
"In many cases, parts of the parks are open and other parts are closed off," Spaul said. "We don't have too many that are completely closed."
Despite the damage, Spaul said the lakes are doing what they are supposed to do. "The lakes were made to do exactly what they've done," Spaul said. He said they still provide drinking water and hydro-electricity.
But what about parks in other areas, such as, around the White River and camping grounds and recreational areas around the lakes that are cared for by the counties?
Spaul said there are no campgrounds or parks in the Fulton and Izard county areas controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers that have been completely shut down. Kerely Point Cove in Fulton County is the only area cared for by the corps. Though it has been flooded and it's hard to get boats out on the water, the cove is open.
Fulton County Judge Charles Willett said the campground at Boggy Point Cove was flooded and in still is working condition. "The campground is still in good shape," Willett said.
In Izard County, most of the damage to parks was due to the White River expanding and overflowing its banks. Izard County Judge Rayburn Finley said all the small parks around the river had to be closed down. He said Rand Park in Calico Rock had a lot of sand washed up in it.
According to NASA's Terra satellite, the White River crested at over 33 feet in April flooding about 90 percent of the low-lying lands.
Though the area went through some flood damage, both Finley and Willett said all the parks are open to the public.