The aftermath of the flood left several city lake parks, boat ramps, roadways and athletic fields closed and damaged for months, costing the city millions.
By the beginning of October, a majority of the parks, ramps, roadways and fields reopened; a community cleanup that attracted hundreds was held, and more figures pertaining to the actual cost of damage have been assessed.
Ongoing cleanup efforts
Grapevine Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Mitchell said all of the trails and boat ramps, except Lakeview Park’s ramp, are open as are a majority of the lake parks.
“As far as what needs to be done there is still a lot left,” he said. “Although the restrooms are open there are still some cosmetic things that need to happen in the bathrooms, such as painting, the fixtures and different things that need a little bit of detail work—that has not happened pretty much in any facility, and that will happen over the course of the winter as scheduling allows.”
Members of the community work together to clean up areas surrounding Lake Grapevine.[/caption]
Repairs to the lake parks and The Vineyards Campground are estimated at more than $1.5 million.
“The Vineyards was hit pretty hard,” Mitchell said. “There was a lot of damage there. A lot of electrical work needs to be done—pretty much the electrical everywhere took a pretty good hit, whether it’s sports fields lighting or at The Vineyards. Utilities probably took the hardest hit, whether it’s electrical, water or sewer, and all that’s being worked on as we speak.”
“Because of the flooding we had to purchase a pool so that our camp could continue,” she said. “Not only did we have to cover the initial expense of the pool itself but all of the chemicals we had to use on a daily basis. We would normally be able to utilize the layout of the land, and we didn’t have that.”
Dimmick said although the damage is done, there is a silver lining in that some infrastructure will be built better and stronger.
“With any disaster things change, and it won’t go back to the same,” she said. “I think it’s important to recognize and accept the change as a government, as a community and as a visitor,” she said.
Wet winter predicted
With meteorologists predicting an above-normal amount of rainfall for the winter, some residents are wondering if all the work done thus far will be counteracted.
Mark Wiley, emergency response meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said North Texas will be receiving more rain than usual this winter because of El Nino, which is a periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean that causes northern U.S. to have warmer temperatures and the southern states to be wetter in the winter.
“We are looking at a strong El Nino that will continue to strengthen as we go through the fall and into the winter,” he said. “This means we are looking at an above-normal rainfall. How much exactly? It’s difficult to say. However, it’s been so dry lately that we really do need the rainfall here. It’s kind of crazy we had a record [amount] of rainfall this summer, and now it’s dry.”
Dimmick said she predicts that the rainfall will not cause serious problems.
“There will be issues and concerns if we get 5 or 10 feet of water, but we will not be in the same situation that we were in this summer,” she said. “I don’t know if there would be any more damage because it’s damaged already. And I don’t know if we will have a lot of it repaired between now and the wintertime. The damage is pretty much done.”