Flood Recovery Continues in Sharp County

DECEMBER 10, 2006 -- POSTED AT 8:30 P.M. CST

HARDY, AR -- Nearly three months have passed since the Spring River flood waters rushed in and many continue to deal with the aftermath. Hardy's Fire Chief, Lonnie Phelps says the town has recovered well but he hopes lessons were learned.

"I don't like sending my people in where they're risking their life to save someone else that could have been out already if they would've just followed directions," says Phelps.

Riverbend Park was the hardest hit area along the river. Seventeen people had to be rescued from the park and one man died in the raging waters. Lynn Pounders is the chief security officer for Riverbend. He says with acres and acres of damage still sitting in the park, the clean up process is going to take some time.

"We still got quite a bit left to do. We have the water and electric to still fix and some debris we still got to clean up in here," says Lynn Pounders with Riverbend.

Many lots in the park are now empty, but park officials say they're hopeful that once spring comes, it will be full once again.

"I believe that it will get back to par. It's going to take a while. It may take a year to even get the confidence of the people back to bring them in, but they'll eventually come back. They did before and they'll do it now," says Pounders.

It's devastation hopefully that will wash downstream and leave room for new memories and a recovered Riverbend Park.

"Probably 20 to 30 percent of them had insurance, but the rest it probably just came out of their pocket. But a lot of them will come back for the purpose that they love doing this," adds Pounders.

Riverbend Park officials say they're hoping to have the park ready to open around March.