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Three Months After Flooding, Some Parks and Pools Still Wait for Repairs

ShoalCreek_memorialdayfloods.jpg
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT
A view of Shoal Creek on May 25, 2015 during the Memorial Day floods.

The Memorial Day Floods are just over three months behind us.

Here in Austin, flood-affected businesses, like the Shoal Creek Saloon, have since reopened, but some of the outdoor features here in Austin – including some pools and parks – are still waiting on repairs.

Marty Stump walks along a stretch of the Shoal Creek Trail along North Lamar Boulevard. Stump, an assistant director with Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department, follows the path as it transitions from the sidewalk to a shaded grove along the creek. The sound of passing cars is replaced by a chirp or two – then mostly quiet. 

“It is very rustic. It has a kind of very interesting geologic formation there with the overhanging limestone,” he says of the trail. “But it does make it challenging to get in there and rebuild that trail.”

Right now, that portion of the trail – from 31st to 29th streets – is closed because of damage from the floods in May.

Stump says it’ll be another couple of months before they can reopen it. That’s because the Federal Emergency Management Agency is helping fund the repairs.

That process requires that FEMA representatives assess the damage and develop a plan to reimburse the city for the money it spends. The same applies to the bridge in Roy G. Guerrero Park, just east of Craig Field. Part of it toppled over in the Memorial Day floods. Stump says that’ll take at least a year to repair.

Stump says other landmarks have been affected by flooding as well; namely, Hamilton Pool.

hamiltonpool.jpg
Credit flickr/darrellrhodesmiller
Hamilton Pool has been closed since the Memorial Day flooding.

“We are currently not allowing swimming or other water contact due to flood damage and unsafe water levels. We are not sure when we will allow swimming again,” he says. “Conditions will be monitored daily to determine the next possible swim date.”

The automated message for Hamilton Pool says Travis County Parks does not know when they’ll allow swimmers back into the pool.

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