Corps to Beaver town: You're on your own getting Beaver Park up and running

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BEAVER -- Although the Beaver RV Park belongs to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the town leases it, Beaver is out of luck on getting any help from the Corps, Mayor Duane Kriesel reported at the May 12 town council meeting.

Rains in March and April and subsequent high flow releases from Beaver Dam by the Corps caused extensive flood damage to residences and local municipal facilities downstream.

Kriesel said the RV Park's RV hookup breakers are underwater and will have to be replaced.

"Some of the electric stanchions are pushed over from logs crashing into them," he said, "and the parking area approach-way needs gravel. There will also have to be a lot of debris removal."

He said the park's swim platform had broken loose and was located at Eagle Rock, Mo. It will need to be towed back.

The Corps' Allen G. Oller, Lake Manager, sent a letter to town attorney William Hill, dated May 6, regarding the damages. The outlook is not good for getting relief.

"We understand the situation you are in, as we manage 14 recreation areas on Table Rock Lake that have received significant damage as a result of the high lake levels," he wrote. "We have some preliminary estimates of damage and they are in excess of $3 million in damages to our recreation areas."

He added it doesn't look like the Corps will receive any additional funding to address the damages.

"As we will not have nearly enough funding to repair our damages, I'm sorry to say we cannot assist you at this time," Oller wrote. "We do not have any special procedures for funding programs that can assist with funding. As you, we are currently recruiting volunteers to assist with our clean up in our recreation areas."

He said the Corps will "continue to pursue Challenge Cost Share opportunities with the private sector in campsite and recreation area rehabilitation."

Kriesel said FEMA may be able to help, but representatives had told him he would have to approach the Corps first.

A FEMA representative visited the town and met with 10 residents.

"After that meeting, I walked the area with the person assigned to us," Kriesel said. "We didn't see any damage to our streets. If it's under $1,000, they won't give us any help."

As for the Beaver Bridge, he said, water levels are still too high for an engineer to come out an assess the integrity of the bridge's structure. The good news, he said, is that even though a wooden bridge that is flooded often experiences "lift" of its platform, "it didn't break loose from the supports. It withstood that."

He said there is no decision about reopening the park until the water recedes.

"Even when it's dry, there's still a tremendous concern about contaminants, both from the river and from our own septic tanks.

As of the meeting, the Corps' Web site showed water levels at Table Rock Lake at 929.51 feet and at 89 percent of capacity.

"I get several calls a day," Kriesel said. "I refer them to the (Corps) Web site. When you see Table Rock Lake at 923 feet, let's talk because then they can inspect the bridge.

Lake levels can be monitored at swl-wc.usace.army.mil, and click on the "Daily Reports" link and then "White River System Lakes Report."

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