CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Heavy rain combined with snowmelt caused the Kanawha River to rise over its banks and engulf portions of Haddad Riverfront Park and Magic Island late last week.
The water had risen up over the Schoenbaum Stage at Haddad Riverfront Park and had totally covered the volleyball courts at Magic Island on Friday.
However, Charleston officials were not too worried about potential damage to the stage or park facilities at Magic Island.
"We ride it out and then we clean it up after the fact," said John Charnock, director of Parks and Recreation.
Parks and Recreation employees had just cleaned the stage and other portions of Haddad Riverfront Park last Tuesday after floodwater covered the area, Charnock said.
"And when the water goes back down, we'll clean it again," he said.
Employees use shovels to scrape up the mud, and the city's Public Works Department will bring a small end loader to the park to remove larger debris like trees and limbs, Charnock said.
Employees also use a hose to spray mud from the concrete park, he said.
"It's not easy to clean up, but we just have to get out and do it," Charnock said.
Charnock added that the process could be frustrating because it is repeated so often. But that it was something employees with both departments had to deal with, he said.
Most of the new lights on Schoenbaum Stage were removed in the fall to keep them from being damaged by floodwater, said George Farley, construction project manager.
The only electrical devices under water on Friday were two electrical boxes, he said. Those boxes are designed to be waterproof.
"They should do just fine," Farley said Friday.
The lights hanging from the top of the stage were left when the others were removed in the fall. However, the water does not typically reach the top of the stage, Farley said.
As far as the structure itself, it should hold up under the floodwater "just fine," he added.
"It's designed to hold up and it does," Farley said.