Pump can’t keep up; building floods

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Last night’s 3.12-inch cloudburst was too much for an old pump in Riverside Park.
Water from the rain pooled along the north side of the Recreation Community Building and in an adjacent parking lot. Some of the water seeped into the building before city crews could place sand bags at its main entrance.
“Water didn’t get on the new gym floor but part of the carpet in the Little Theater got wet,” Berkley Kerr, parks superintendent, said. “We’ll be able to dry out the carpet OK.”
The pump in question is scheduled for replacement as part of recovery from the flood of 2007, which filled the park nearly to the top of its levee.
“I don’t know when we’re going to get the new pump,” Kerr said. “Every time I call (the supplier), they say they’re still working on it.”
Kerr said ability of the pump to drain ground water in the area of the community building was complicated by the adjacent new football field and running track.
“All that water from the field now drains to the west instead of south,” he noted.
Another pump in the south end of the park was working fine this morning, although it, too, was not removing water too quickly.
“The park sits on a layer of river gravel and the water comes back up through the ground about as quickly as it is pumped out,” Kerr said.