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When rain brings damage, stay safe

Watch your step

Submitted photo A sinkhole appeared at Hurley Park after days of heavy rain on Aug. 1. It’s best to avoid the damage.

We either have weeks of no rain or weeks when we have 3 inches or more within three days. It is exactly like the saying, “either a feast or a famine.”

And with this weather, it is exactly that. Hurley Park, along with other areas in the city, received torrential downpours and some flooding. This isn’t the first time we have had areas flood in the park, but it is always a surprise or a shock at how much damage a few inches of water can cause.

Aug. 1 was one of the worst days of the storm for Hurley Park. We received videos of the flooding at the annex portion of the park. This area will receive flooding from time to time, but what really causes issues for the spillways in the annex is when storm drains are clogged. It makes the water slow down and back up. That is where we start to get flooding conditions, when the water has nowhere to go except to expand outside of water ways.

Visiting the park after the storms, we had a tree fall, limbs crush plants, walkways disappear, paths erode, walls collapse, decks underwater, sinkholes, and the list goes on.

It is quite amazing what a few days of storms and heavy rain can do to a nature park like Hurley. Even after assessing the damage, putting up barricades and trying to secure major problem areas, we still had people disregard their own safety to capture a few photos of the damage.

This brings me to the main point of today’s article. When we have major storms, it can be dangerous to go “check out” the damage from Mother Nature.

With the ground being super saturated, this can cause numerous trees to uproot and collapse. Our pine tree fell in broad daylight with numerous people out walking the park and setting up hammocks close by. Just because the storm has passed does not mean the danger is no longer there.

Please pay attention if you choose to visit the park after major storms. If there are downed trees, leave the site. Do not go near sink holes; they could be volatile and continue to erode. If roads or paths are flooding, turn around.

Of course if this is after hours, please report these issues by calling, emailing or letting us know on social media. Our biggest concern is for your safety, and we want you to be able to enjoy the park for years to come.

Danélle Cutting is director of Hurley Park.

For more information on Hurley Park, please visit: https://salisburync.gov/Government/Parks-and-Recreation/Parks/Hurley-Park.

Like us on Facebook and Instagram, or call us at 704-638-4459.

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