LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – (6/11/19) With the Arkansas River now below flood stage, City of Little Rock Departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works have turned efforts to clean-up and repair of streets and nearly 1,300 acres of park land.
“It is going to take some time to get all of our parks cleaned up so that we can return to normal operations, so we are asking for patience during this recovery process,” said Mayor Scott. “Even when the water is gone, it will take some time for the ground to dry out, so that we can get equipment into the areas that need the work.”
The 16 parks and facilities which have been affected by flooding include:
Arkansas River Trail
Benny Craig Park (22 acres)
Crump Park (15 acres)
Hindman Park (80 acres)
Hindman Golf Course (190 acres)
Interstate Park Sports Complex (71 acres)
Junior Deputy Baseball Complex (15 acres)
LRPR Archery Range
Murray Park (166 acres)
Natural Steps Park (48.3 acres)
Rebsamen Golf Course (380 acres)
Remmel Park (27 acres)
Richland Park (5 acres)
Riverfront Park (37.4 acres)
Southside Park (13 acres)
Two Rivers Park (223 acres)
Residents and sightseers are asked to please continue to mind any closures that are in place as the water recedes. There may be certain parks, or areas within parks, that remain closed after water has receded to ensure public safety.
“We will be working on opening up as many facets of our properties as soon as possible, including the Arkansas River Trail, golf courses, archery range, pavilions, picnic tables, walking paths, playgrounds, restrooms, volleyball courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, green spaces, parking lots, dog parks and anything else that we have out there,” said John Eckhart, Director of Parks and Recreation. “And we appreciate the public’s understanding and patience as we work through this unprecedented clean-up effort.”
As the public visits City of Little Rock parks after they have reopened, please be aware of wildlife adjusting to the receding water. Snakes, spiders, bugs of all kinds, and other wildlife have all been displaced by the flood waters and will be making their way back to their natural habitat. Park officials remind us to pay attention to where you are walking and be aware of your surroundings.
Streets that remain closed because of flooding damage are:
Two locations on 6th Street near airport runway
Shiloh (in the Plantation/Pickett neighborhood)
Public Works provided more than 1,000 cubic yards of sand for more than 48,000 sandbags. There are three sandbag drop off sites throughout Little Rock:
War Memorial Park Parking Lot (accessed from Clubhouse Drive at roundabout) https://clrmail.littlerock.gov/owa/
Intersection of East Roosevelt and Fourche Dam Pike (northeast corner)
End of Chenal Valley Drive at Chenal Parkway (north intersection near St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church)
Residents are asked to empty bags at the drop-off location and put the empty bags into the designated dumpster on site. The City will not collect sandbags placed at the edge of streets. Residents, however, can use sand from sandbags to fill low areas of their yards, flower beds, or gardens. But officials advise to NOT use sand that has been in contact with floodwaters in any area, such as a child’s sandbox or play area. The sand may contain bacteria or other contaminants from floodwater. Residents are also urged to not dispose of sand or sandbags in the following areas:
Wildlife that normally lives in and around the river is being pushed into areas where it normally wouldn’t go, and Little Rock Zoo officials caution residents to mind take care if you encounter animals you don’t normally see. This video steps through what animals you may see and what to do if you do.
With overwhelming response from Little Rock residents to assist neighbors in need, the City of Little Rock has partnered with Volunteer Arkansas, a project of AmeriCorps, to compile a list of volunteers to assist with cleanup and recovery in the coming weeks. Unlike after a tornado disaster, volunteer needs after a flood may not manifest for weeks. If you are interested in volunteering for recovery efforts from this flood, please access this website portal to sign up to volunteer. Once more is known about what type of volunteer assistance is needed in Little Rock, this portal will be updated with volunteer efforts from which people can choose to assist.
All of these details can be found on littlerock.gov under City News near the bottom of the homepage.