Hardy, 1 Year After the Flooding

HARDY (KAIT) One year ago--the Spring River overflowed its banks--flooding homes and businesses in Sharp county.

The area around Hardy was hit particularly hard.

But now a year has passed and you have to look hard to find remnants of the 2008 floods.

With the first day of spring, Hardy once again looks forward to a busy tourist season.

Hardy Mayor Nina Thornton remembers the flooding of a year ago. "Houses were coming down the river, propane tanks were coming down the river. And anything you can name it was flooded above us below us and in us."

Hardy business owner Marc Herring was only in his second spring in Hardy. "Unprecedented in my history, not so much for the town itself but my history of watching the waters rise and seeing how powerful this river can be."

A year later, the Spring River is peaceful, the sun shines on the walking trail as "Punkin" takes her owner for a walk and Hardy is getting ready for the tourist season.

Thornton, "The sewer system is better than new, but the kids playground was one of our main concerns. It was all gone, every bit of it. 1.4 million dollars worth of damage to the city of Hardy."

The park has been rebuilt as well as the tourist trailer camp, the new office however is mobile in case it has to be moved again. The USGS has also installed a river level monitoring station next to the park. More upriver are also in the works.

The city hall had around 10 inches of water inside and was out of commission for nearly a year.

City officials just moved back in this week.

Thornton, "Now we have a 40 by 100 foot building which is our original city hall and it's all redone and it's absolutely fabulous."

Most of the city repairs were done by FEMA money, grants and little insurance here and there.

In addition to repairs--Hardy has also scored grants for new turnouts for the fire department.

It's now building a second fire station and a new fire truck is on its way .

Now on the first day of spring the little town is looking ahead and working closer than before.

Herring "Communication and cooperation between the city leaders as well as the main street merchants is really coming together in the most profound manner."

Thornton, "People are pulled together we can stand it, it's been proven."  Mayor Thornton says they have to get ready, the Spring River is a money draw and they have to make some money off it this year.

Of course with spring there may be floods, they hope...

Thornton, "A flood of tourists, that's really good. Maybe that will be our new catch phrase, the flood of tourism in Hardy."