The Skunk River overflowed its banks in parts of Story City overnight into Thursday, causing flooding at the golf course, high school football field and the city’s North and South parks.
River Bend Golf Course was closed Thursday as most of the course was under water. Fortunately, the flooding was not as bad as it has been in some past floods, said River Bend manager Brady Carpenter.
“We didn’t get that much rain here, but Jewell got dumped on the night before last, and that water caused the river to jump its banks here,” Carpenter said.
He issued an email blast to golf course patrons on Wednesday indicating he was monitoring the rising level of the river. Based on the Iowa Flood Center’s prediction that the river would peak at about 1 a.m. Thursday, he encouraged golf cart owners to remove their carts from the sheds on Wednesday. Although many people did respond by moving their carts, “fortunately the water didn’t reach the sheds,” he said on Thursday.
“All of the greens are in okay shape,” he said. “Only one was partly covered by the water, and that one is about 20 feet from the river, so it’s not a surprise, but even that one just has some residue on part of it.”
A few of the tee boxes were under water Thursday. Carpenter said much of the water on the course was knee-deep at that time.
“The water is definitely going down already,” Carpenter said on Thursday afternoon. “I’ve only been here for two years, so this is my first time experiencing flooding like this, but a couple people I talked to think the river will be back in its banks by tomorrow or so.”
River Bend Golf Course is in the process of installing new cart paths, with the project wrapping up this fall. Carpenter said he didn’t expect the flooding to have a damaging effect to the new cart paths because they are bordered by grass planted in the spring and that should help prevent too much erosion.
“This flood was bad, but it could have been way worse,” Carpenter said.
The high school football field and track also had a considerable area under water on Thursday. Three school administrators and a couple of community volunteers were at the field at 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning moving equipment out of the storage shed to keep it from getting damaged by the rising flood waters.
When the water recedes, there will be many hours of cleanup needed including removing river debris from fences and power-washing the mud off the track and out of the storage shed, to get the facility ready for future Roland-Story activities.
The eighth-grade football team was scheduled to play a game against Greene County on the field Thursday afternoon, and that game was moved to Grand Junction. The next scheduled events on the field are seventh- and eighth-grade football games Thursday, Sept. 13. It is unknown at this time if the teams will be able to play those games on the field. The next varsity football game is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21, and will be Roland-Story’s Homecoming game.
For years, the school district has been battling flood damage to the track and football field, which has flooded at least nine times in the past decade. The district had asked voters to approve a new stadium to be constructed at the old outlet mall location, but that measure was defeated in a bond referendum in February.
The Skunk River also flooded parts of North and South parks, along Broad Street. The ball diamond and shelter house at North Park were under water on Thursday, and access to the historic Swinging Bridge and shelter house in South Park was closed.
Due to the park flooding, an American Legion event scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9, has been relocated. Legion Post 59 is hosting a picnic beginning at 11 a.m. to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019. The picnic has been moved to the Story City Legion, 301 Washington St.