NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – James Murphy oversees recreation at Grapevine Lake and six other lakes under control of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“It makes me sick to see it like this,” says Murphy.
Murrell Park may not look great now, but it’s better than last year.
The courtesy boat dock and light pole were completely under water last year. And these picnic tables, parking spaces, and one of the boat ramps are still under water.
Because of that, and storm debris, Murphy says some parts of the park remain closed.
“Something like this will be an instant trip to the ER if they were to come out here,” says Murphy. “That’s why we have signs posted stay away from this area.”
On Wednesday, the Corps reopened the North Shore Trail, which is popular with bicyclists.
It was Chris Korte’s first chance to get back out here.
“It’s great, it’s nice that it’s finally open,” says Korte. “There are still some points that are pretty close to the water. There’s still some work to do. The riding is really good.”
The Corps has also reopened some recreation areas of Murrell Park.
Murphy credits members of his team and volunteers from the community and DORBA, a bicycling group.
But Murphy says it could take years and $30 million to restore all parks in the Corps’ 25 reservoirs in the region.
Still, that’s secondary to the main purpose of these lakes: preventing floods downstream in Dallas and other cities along the Trinity River.
“We will re-build what’s here, when the funds become available. But right now, people’s lives downstream matter more,” says Murphy.
Grapevine Lake and other lakes remain open to boaters, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges those who visit the lakes and parks to be cautious and safe.
Parks along Grapevine Lake owned by the Town of Flower Mound and the City of Grapevine also sustained damage.
Administrators in Grapevine say they claimed $1 million in insurance, $1 million in lost revenue insurance, and requested an additional $3.5 million from FEMA throughout its lake park system.
The city says it still has the vast majority of restoration to do.
Grapevine says it has spent money making repairs at the Vineyards Campground.
A spokeswoman with the Town of Flower Mound says its Parks and Trail system sustained $235,589 in damages that were reimbursed by the Texas Municipal League Insurance and an additional $197,429 in damages reimbursed from FEMA.
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