St. Joseph Parks and Recreation Department pumping water out of Heritage Park after flooding

The St. Joseph Parks and Recreation Department continues to work on cleaning up Heritage Park after flooding.

Posted: Apr 5, 2019 11:33 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— The St. Joseph Parks and Recreation Department continues to work on cleaning up Heritage Park after the recent flooding.

"There was nothing encouraging after 2011, but right now, we feel pretty good," Parks and Recreation Director Chuck Kempf said. 

With the flood waters receding, crews are starting to work on Heritage Park, but it's going to take some time to clean up completely. 

"Water in that part of the Riverfront did not recede on its own," Kempf said. 

And since the water can't go anywhere, workers are forced to get it out. 

"We're pumping water right now," Kempf said. "It's basically a bowl in there. There's no place for the water to go when it gets in there. It takes a while for it to get in there, but once it gets in there's no place for it go."

The flooding and time to clean is causing a tremendous amounts of issues when it comes to softball tournaments and leagues. 

"It impacts the people's ability to have their recreational softball, their ability to host their tournaments that they want to host and it affects our ability to host our tournaments and our leagues," Kempf said. 

When the tournaments can't be hosted, it causes a ripple effect. 

"That revenue helps pay the bills," Kempf said. "It helps pay the staff. It's pay for, not necessarily improvements to the facility, but the regular grass seed, fertilizer, things like that."

Besides the lost revenue, Kempf said people who work the tournaments and leagues also lose some income, whether it be their main source or extra. 

However, the amount of water sitting in the park continues to fall and Kempf hopes the damage to the fields is minimal, but there's a lot of working going to be done. 

"We have significant damage to the buildings," Kempf said. "There's no getting around that."

It's going to be a process, but there is optimism about getting things back in order. 

"We just hope we can get the water off and the recovery efforts for the field themselves, so we can at least play softball," Kempf said. 

Kempf added there are plans in place to play games at other fields around town, but he hopes that they won't have to do it. 

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