Shoals parks start to reopen after flooding

McFarland Park and Riverfront Park are built to withstand flooding.

Posted: Feb 28, 2020 3:39 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2020 6:29 PM

Two parks in the Shoals are now open after flooding shut them down for about a month.

Riverfront Park in Sheffield and McFarland Park in Florence are cleaned up and ready for visitors.

Flooding at McFarland Park before and one month later

"In North Alabama, McFarland has the best course," said Hunter Vickery, who was hitting the disc golf courses at McFarland Park on Friday.

The park officially opened back up on Thursday. Vickery said the park being underwater for a month slowed down his favorite hobby.

"It being underwater held us up a little bit," he said.

Vickery isn't the only one excited that the water went down. The Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Visitors Center is in McFarland Park. As the water rose, staff members had to work from home for a little over a week, but employees said that's nothing compared to flooding last year.

"Last year, it was two weeks from home and then, this year, the power got cut on a Thursday night," said Tyler Dolan, whose office is at the visitors center.

Dolan said he's glad to be back in his office thanks to parks and rec employees cleaning up the large debris.

"It looks like nothing ever happened. It's a blessing to have all the right people doing their job," said Dolan.

City officials said no buildings were damaged. Some of the campsite washer and dryers took on a lot of water. They are waiting to see if those will dry out or need to be replaced.

TVA's Rockpile Recreation Area in Muscle Shoals is still closed even though the water has gone down there. Crews need to go in and clean up the park before it can open. TVA estimates that will take a few more weeks.

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