McFarland Park remains closed as flooding continues and cleanup begins

FLORENCE, Ala. – Damage estimates are moving into the tens of thousands of dollars for one of Florence’s main attractions. Despite days of work, it’s still going to be sometime before McFarland Park is ready to re-open after recent flooding. With the Tennessee River still above flood stage, water continues to flow into the park.

It has been one week since crews were able to make it into the western side of McFarland Park. Although many of the areas are still underwater, workers have been busy.

“There was a lot of debris left on the roads and on the banks. We spent at least two or three days just picking up that kind of debris,” explained Park Superintendent Fred Boughner.

According to Boughner, the campgrounds were hit pretty hard. Employees have been cleaning river silt out of the bath-house; at one point the water was chest high. A film of sandy dirt covers everything in the park.

“The main thing is getting the power on and our sewer back online,” said Boughner. “That will help determine when we can get it back open.”

Several electricity transformers were damaged by floating debris. Driftwood the size of trees is now scattered all over the park.

“We are definitely (closed) through this weekend. The water has come back up; it’s over the park road at this moment. TVA says it is going to stay there through the weekend.”

Boughner is hesitant to give a firm date of when McFarland Park will be back open.

City leaders are estimating the damage to McFarland Park will surpass $100,000. State EMA officials will be in Lauderdale County on Thursday to begin surveying damage countywide to determine if they will qualify for federal assistance.

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