Hannibal Parks & Rec crews work to clean up after flood

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Parks & Rec officials in Hannibal said cleanup efforts from flooding are taking longer than they anticipated.
“Lots of squeegee work and mopping and power washing and all of that good stuff, yeah it was a gunky mess,” said maintenance worker Richard Fogle.
It’s not the first time Fogle has cleaned up the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center after a flood, but he said this time was different.
“The one that we had last month, we only had about 2.5 feet of water in it so there wasn’t as much silt but with about 5 feet of water this time, of course there is more silt so it was twice the amount of work,” said Fogle.
Parks & Rec officials said they are trying to get the rec center back open within the next week.
“This building looks pretty good but we still don’t have all of our tables and chairs and the equipment that has been moved to the maintenance shed so there’s still a lot more involved in getting the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center ready to be used,” said Mary Lynne Richards with the parks & rec department.
Meanwhile, trails along Bear Creek and in Sodalis Park remain untouched. That’s because Richards said cleanup efforts there are on hold right now because their staff is overwhelmed with other work.
“Cleanup just depends. We have to get the aquatics center ready,” she said. “We have to get Clemens Field ready and then we’ll start working on the trails and you know that’s just going to take some time.”
Workers like Fogle hope the river doesn’t come back up and get water and mud back into this building.
“It could definitely happen,” said Fogle. “We hope not because we are kinda getting tired of cleaning but if it does, we’ll do it all over.”
Parks officials said the goal is to have the rec center completely open by next Tuesday. They said that’s when they plan to start on the trails and creeks and it could be weeks before those are back to normal.
The parks department and Hannibal BPW  plan to partner for a stream team cleanup in the next couple of weeks as well. Once that date is set, they will ask for volunteers to help.
Brett Knese

Brett Knese

Multi-Media Journalist at WGEM News.

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