Kids Kingdom gets moat in rain

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 9, 2002

What appeared to be an underwater playground off Industrial ParkRoad Monday turned out to be Kids Kingdom on an island in a pond ofwater.

Shortly after rain starting pouring in Brookhaven Monday, thearea surrounding the newly-constructed playground flooded, makingit appear as though the community’s hard work would wash away.

“The playground is actually on higher ground so it’s OK. Theonly place I saw water inside the playground area was in the Tot’scastle,” said Kids Kingdom co-chair Sally Doty, who waded out tothe playground Monday afternoon to survey the damage.

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Water coming off a nearby drainage ditch combined with waterstanding behind the playground a make a “moat” around KidsKingdom.

“This was a test. We knew that this area flooded. We knew thatgoing into it, but we’re going to do some things to improve that,”said Doty.

Some work was done around the area before the playground wasbuilt. A culvert was placed under the road leading to Kids Kingdomin hopes of directing water from the drainage ditch.

Also a beaver dam, making water stand in a creek near the park,was destroyed. Doty believes another beaver dam still exists.

“We’re going to bust up the beaver dams. That may have impededit some,” she said.

While walking around the flooded area Monday, Doty noted that asmall amount of mulch had washed away. She estimated it was lessthan one-fourth of the total mulch.

A tractor was stuck in the middle of the flooded area, but StanWinborne was able to ride a four-wheeler out to retrieve it.

Doty collected the folding chairs under the food tent beforethey were possibly washed away.

“Everybody’s tools are fine as well. They’re up high and dry inthe tool shed,” she added.

Motorists are advised not to attempt to drive their vehicles tothe site or walk through any water or muddy areas. One motoristdrove into the water Monday afternoon and got their vehicle stuck,but Winborne was able to pull it out with the tractor.

“Hopefully it will drain some before it rains again,” saidDoty.

Engineers have been contacted to find solutions to the floodingproblem. They plan to further assess the situation in the next fewweeks.

Elsewhere, high water got into a Hartman Street home that wasbeing expanded and came within a few inches of entering severalother homes on the street, said the Rev. Phillip Sterling. Sterlingsaid a nearby ditch is clogged and water backs up into neighborhoodyards.

“This is every time it rains,” Sterling said as he watched waterrise in his yard.

A short while later, a city crew came by with rakes and did somework around the ditch. On North Jackson Street, city crews removedsome grates near Central Baptist Church to help water run off inthat area.

Brookhaven received a total of 3.34 inches of rain before therain ceased Monday afternoon. There was a 50 percent chance of moreshowers Tuesday.