Little river causes damage at Reed Bingham - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Little river causes damage at Reed Bingham

July 13, 2005

Cook County - It's great for the fisherman. "The waters up so high you get some spill over from the lake and you also get a lot of fish coming up river," said Paul Bradshaw, Park Ranger.

But if you want to do anything else at Reed Bingham State Park, you're out of luck. "No swimming, no boating," said Bradshaw.

All the park's nature trails and beaches have been closed. "That's because the water's too deep and our depth markers are no longer valid," said Bradshaw.

The rushing water snapped several docks in half. Picnic tables and grills are stranded, and the damn is somewhere underneath all this water. "It's probably a good two feed underwater," said Bradshaw.

The Little River measured at 18.6 feet Wednesday morning, that's more than 10 feet above flood stage. "Normally when the river gets about 4 1/2 or 5 feet, the water starts coming out of the banks," said Bradshaw.

Down at the beach area of the park, there's only a few feet of sand left and with the water rising, it will be completely underwater soon. When the level finally does recede, park rangers say they'll have a lot of clean up and repair work. "The water will come in and wash a lot of debris on the sand and some of the sand will wash away and then we'll have to go in and build up the beach area," said Bradshaw.

The water isn't across the bridge yet, but Department of Transportation workers are monitoring the river level to make sure traveling across it is still safe. "When they let us know that its time to close it, we'll be shutting the road down that connects both sides of the park," said Bradshaw.

But they're hoping the water won't get that high, and they'll be able to reopen all areas of the park by this weekend.

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