Post Flood Recovery Efforts
2019 has brought rain. Lots of it! A February record amount of it. In fact, it hasn't rained this much in February since...ever. The closest record was in the late 1800's. Yeah, that isn't a typo...late 1800's. Over 12 inches of rain fell this month. If only we had temps below freezing think about the snow we could have received? How fun would that have been?
The rinks were effectively destroyed by the flooding of Drakes Creek on the evening of Saturday February 23, 2019. I drove past the rinks about 11:00 PM that night and saw the water was over the boards. It wasn't until Sunday morning the 24th, that we knew just how bad the damage was. In fact, we're still not completely certain how extensive it is and whether or not we'll be able to salvage enough to save the Spring 2019 season but that is the aim as of today.
Some photos below show the damage incurred and what we had to start with that Sunday morning.
Early Sunday, HIHA board members along with staff from Hendersonville Parks Department were present at the rinks to begin cleanup. Equipment was removed from the flooded concession stand and the Parks Department began to clean out the water and debris remaining in the concession stand. Personnel was on-site to photograph the damage both at the rinks as well as Mary's Magical Place which also received damage from the Saturday storms.
As the day progressed, more volunteers began to show up to help. Some had just finished cleaning or repairing their own homes or those of their neighbors and came straight down to the rinks just to see how they could help.
The side boards were laid flat in places, goals were strewn about and the surface was anywhere but where it should be. Pieces were seen as far as Gallatin Road at Drakes Creek. I imagine you could find some near Old Hickory Dam if you really wanted to. Some portions of the surface, which as you may recall was installed just last spring, looked like some behemoth of a person had come in and tried to shake the surface out like you would a rug; ripple after ripple standing about 4 feet high. Pieces of the surface entangled in bleachers, ripped through chain-link fencing and buried under mud were everywhere. Where do you start?
About 30 people began to dismantle the blue tiles and stack them between the rinks while another 10-15 people went downstream to collect tiles from wherever it was they came to rest. Once they'd filled a truck bed, they drove back to Veteran's Park and deposited them, returning downstream to retrieve more tiles. This was done a half dozen times or more and the work collecting tiles downstream from Veteran's Park didn't stop until dark.
Meanwhile the other volunteers continued removing the surface from the rink areas, dragging huge chunks of tile through mud, debris and nastiness. Everyone got dirty, everyone pitched in and everyone had a positive attitude, working to bring things back to where we can hopefully repair things in time for a spring season.