MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The Army Corps of Engineers is finally getting a first-hand look at the damage after Tuttle Creek has been flooded for months.
Aaron McCarcken and his family are finally able to enjoy the beach at Tuttle Creek State Park. They usually come out as often as they can during the summer, but this year is different.
“This is actually our first time we’ve been able to come out and enjoy the beach swimming area here,” said McCarcken. “We tried to come out a couple weeks ago but this area was completely underwater. It was difficult to find where to park and where the beach area was.”
The lake is now sitting 40 ft. above normal which is down 20 ft.from its’ peak this summer at 60 ft.
This is giving the Army Corps of Engineers a chance to see the flood damage first hand.
Melissa Bean with the Corps says from what she’s found, she thinks there will be more than a million dollars in damage.
“The lake’s revealing more damage every day it comes down,” Bean said. “At this point, we are looking at a near-total loss of most of our lakeside recreation areas. Something exceeding the one million dollar range.”
Bean said there is a big chance these parks won’t even be open next summer, which will impact tourism in the area.
“It’s hard to get a good grasp of how extensive the damage is when you’re looking at 40 ft. of water on top of everything,” said Bean.
Bean will keep checking out the areas as the water recedes. but she says it is still in too bad of shape to get equipment to start repairing the campgrounds.
The annual recreation budget for the corp is around $500,000. The federal government will help provide the rest of the money needed.